Chair Of New York City Council Health Committee Says Racism Is To Blame For Possible Spike In Coronavirus Cases

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Chair Of New York City Council Health Committee Mark Levine said Wednesday that a possible surge in coronavirus cases should be blamed on racism, not the large crowds of protesters who have gathered over the past week. 

Recent protests over the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody after an officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes, have continued across the country for over a week, raising concerns about the spread of coronavirus due to the large crowds of people. 

“Let’s be clear about something: if there is a spike in coronavirus cases in the next two weeks, don’t blame the protesters,” Levine said in a tweet. “Blame racism.”

He added that “police are increasing covid risk” by using tear gas, putting people in crowded jails and “herding demonstrators into tight spaces.” (RELATED: REPORT: ‘I Don’t Give Two Rats’ Asses About Your Cops’: NYC Health Commissioner Blew Off Desperate Plea For Masks)

New York City has been at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. As of Wednesday, the city has over 380,000 active cases and a death rate of 7.8%, according to the Worldometer coronavirus tracker. In mid-April, the BBC reported that New York City had more coronavirus cases than any other country in the world outside of the rest of the United States.

Before the outbreak hit New York, Levine posted tweets encouraging people to gather in large crowds, praising people who came to a Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown “despite coronavirus fear mongering.”

“Despite #coronavirus fear mongering, today’s #LunarNewYear parade in Chinatown is a joyous show of pride. If you missed it, make a point of coming here later to support local businesses during this difficult time. #DineInChinaTown 新年快乐,” the tweet read. 

“In powerful show of defiance of #coronavirus scare, huge crowds gathering in NYC’s Chinatown for ceremony ahead of annual #LunarNewYear parade. Chants of ‘be strong Wuhan!’ If you are staying away, you are missing out!” another tweet said.