Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti has admitted that recent protests and mass demonstrations have led to a spike in coronavirus cases in the city.
Garcetti revealed at a news conference on Wednesday that LA County health officials believe some of the new COVID-19 cases may have come from large groups of people gathering at rallies.
“I talked to you again [Director of Public Health] Dr. Barbara Ferrer about this this morning. She thinks part of the spread comes from our protests, “the mayor told reporters.
Mayor Eric Garcetti (pictured on a demonstration on June 2) has admitted that recent protests may have contributed to a spike in coronvirus cases in Los Angeles.
Members of Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles gather last month at a demonstration outside LAUSD headquarters
“It’s not protesting – that’s great and American to do, whatever your opinion … but protesting without keeping your physical distance, without wearing your mask, without disinfectant – we just have to be smart.”
Garcetti was asked if there was a link between the new cases and protests after the city – and most parts of California – saw a sharp spike in infections in the past two weeks.
The mayor noted that it was likely that some people were unaware of the health risks and did not take proper precautions during their protests.
“Whether you’re at a protest or at home, at work, or while shopping, these rules don’t change,” he added.
“We really believe there is a connection, we don’t believe everyone did this safely and wherever you can, please stay at home.”
Garcetti’s comments came after he said there was no evidence of any issues raised during protests at a news conference on Monday.
As of Thursday, LA County had a total of 105,325 cases and 3,402 deaths, according to data from the Department of Public Health
Governor Gavin Newsom announced the closure on Wednesday, days after the imposition of a national injunction requiring all residents to wear masks in most public places
The mayor said he supported Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision to shut down bars in LA County after it recorded the largest number of new infections in one day and 1 in 140 people were infected, Fox LA reported.
However, Garcetti declined to speculate whether protests contributed to the spike.
‘We follow the data closely. There is no evidence yet that the protests have led to much spread, although it is something Dr. Ferrer has suggested, but we have not seen conclusive evidence there, ”he said.
‘People can and must of course still exercise their First Amendment rights. This is a critical time not to stop there, ”he added.
Dr. Ferrer later confirmed the link in a statement Fox news.
‘In situations where people have been close to each other for a long time and it is very busy, we are sure that there will be diversification. So we never said there is no spread of people protesting, “she said.
On Thursday, LA County had a total of 105,325 cases and 3,402 deaths, according to data from the Department of Public Health.
Governor Newsom was forced to close bars and indoor activities in restaurants, cinemas and museums in 19 counties on Wednesday as infections continue to spread at an alarming rate.
The number of new cases in California has risen by nearly 50 percent in the past two weeks, with a 43 percent increase in hospital admissions.
On Monday, there were 222,917 confirmed cases in the state and 5,980 deaths, according to the state’s health department.