Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, June 7, 2020
The risk of George Floyd protests spreading coronavirus is outweighed by the cause which is “vital to the national public health,” a group of more than 1,200 health professionals said in a letter.
The letter mentions that while the health professionals are in support of the Floyd protests, Americans should nonetheless “prepare for an increased number of infections in the days following a protest.”
Protests against states’ draconian coronavirus lockdown orders, however, are dangerous and should be discouraged because they are “rooted in white nationalism,” the letter states.
The letter makes it pretty clear exactly which Black Lives Matter and which don’t. If you are a black business owner and your business is burned down by rioters, too bad. If you are a black business owner who wants to reopen before your business goes under, tough.
And, for anyone who contracts the coronavirus from someone who attended a Floyd protest, again sacrifices are to be expected.
According to the letter’s writers, many of whom are part of the University of Washington’s Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “White supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19.”
“As public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States. We can show that support by facilitating safest protesting practices without detracting from demonstrators’ ability to gather and demand change.”
As for those who protest against business- and jobs-killing lockdown orders, the letter writers state:
“This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders. Those actions not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives.”
“We believe that the way forward is not to suppress protests in the name of public health but to respond to protesters demands in the name of public health, thereby addressing multiple public health crises,” the letter explains.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson said of the letter: “This is a sham.” The coronavirus shutdown “was a front for tyrants to inflict their personal neuroses and their desire for control on the United States of America and to do it outside the democratic process, outside democratic norms. Every person who signed this letter is a faker, none of them represents science, we should never listen to any of them again.”
Report: Coronavirus lockdowns hurt minority workers more than whites
Coronavirus shutdowns hurt Hispanic and African American workers more than white workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data released on Friday.
The report‘s data table show that while white employment fell by 12.7 percent since February, Hispanic employment fell by 18.5 percent and black employment fell by 16.3 percent.
The reason for the racial differences in job losses is likely due to the concentration of different groups in different industries, the report noted.
Hispanics, for example, represent 17.6 percent of the total working population. But they represent 27.1 percent of the employees in the restaurant industry, which was largely shuttered due to the lockdowns. They also represent 37.6 percent of the employees in the car washing industry, which was also hit hard as people ceased travel for all but essential reasons.
Similarly, black Americans represent 12.3 percent of the total working population, but 29.0 percent of employees in barber shops, which were closed down, and 22.1 percent of the car rental industry, which all but stopped. They also represent 21.9 percent of the employees of the animal slaughtering industry, which was impacted by coronavirus.
Few of these industries allow remote working.
Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin recently noted: “Job losses have particularly impacted people of color, and a recent national survey by the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research found that African Americans and Latinos were more likely to have lost their jobs than whites.”
The USC Dornsife survey, released in April, reported: “People of color, especially African Americans, are more likely to have lost their jobs since mid-March. Nationally, 15 percent of whites said they had lost their jobs, whereas 18 percent of Latino and 21 percent of African Americans reported job losses.”