The widespread Black Lives Matters protests had nothing to do with the current resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. — at least not directly.
A study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests people who stayed indoors during three weeks of protests were more likely to contract the coronavirus, while few protest participants have tested positive. However, the study also found that many people stayed indoors because the protests were going on.
“It’s certainly possible that there is probably a small increase in cases among the protesting population,” says Bentley University Professor Dhaval Dave, one of the study’s authors. “When we look at the population of the counties as a net, there does not seem to have been significant community spread and no significant increase at all in overall cases at the population level.”
Is this the reason states where the heat keeps people indoors — like Arizona — are seeing spikes in cases? Is the takeaway that everyone should employ safety measures regardless of what they’re doing?