Mayors, Governors Ask Rioters To Wear Face Masks, Practice Social Distancing

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 21: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo arrives with a face mask at a news conference on May 21, 2020 in New York City. While the governor continued to say that New York City is seeing a steady decline in coronavirus cases, he also mentioned that the number of countries reporting a mysterious illness in children believed to be connected to COVID-19 has nearly doubled in just one week. (Photo by

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey wants protesters destroying the city to wear masks and practice social distancing.

“The City encourages everyone to exercise caution to stay safe while participating in demonstrations, including wearing masks and physical distancing as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City has made hundreds of masks available to protesters this week,” the mayor and other city officials said in a statement.

In protests across the U.S., rioters are packed in like sardines — and police, who have broken up even small gatherings of people and cleared beachgoers from the shore, have done nothing.

Other mayors and governors have said much the same thing as Frey.

New York City Gov. Andrew Cuomo said everyone can protest, just wear a mask.

“You have a right to demonstrate. You have the right to protest. God bless America,” Cuomo said during his coronavirus briefing Saturday. “You don’t have a right to infect other people. You don’t have a right to act in a way that’s going to jeopardize public health.”
“Even if you think you’re a superhero because you’re young and you’re strong, you can get it and then infect someone else,” Cuomo said of the virus. “So it’s just wholly irresponsible… You can have an opinion but there are also facts, and you’re wrong not to wear a mask.”
CNN medical analyst Dr. James Phillips, a physician and assistant professor at George Washington University Hospital, stressed the importance for protesters to protect themselves.
“This can be done in a relatively safe manner by trying to distance yourself and wearing those masks,” he said Saturday.
“But understanding that shouting and cheering loudly, that does produce a lot of droplets and aerosolization that can spread the virus to people. So it’s important to remember, in the middle of a tinder box that is America right now and with all these protests taking place, we can’t lose sight of the fact there’s a deadly virus circulating and it can still spread.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio blessed the protesters, but also urged them to wear masks.
“I would still wish that everyone would realize that when people gather it’s inherently dangerous in the context of this pandemic, and I’m going to keep urging people not to use that approach and if they do they focus on social distancing and wearing face coverings,” de Blasio said Saturday.

The mayor said the demonstrations amid a pandemic is “a very, very complicated reality.”

“You cannot see overt racism, you cannot see overt racist murder and not feel something profoundly deep, so I understand that,” de Blasio added. “But the last thing we would want to see is members of our community harmed because the virus spread in one of these settings.”


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