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New Study Finds No Link Between COVID-19 Cases & BLM Protests

Black Lives Matter Protest in March

On Monday, June 22nd, The National Bureau of Economic Research issued a new study that finds no evidence to link the recent growth in COVID-19 cases to the urban protests as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Using a COVID-19 case count tracker from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and data from SafeGraph, a company that collects anonymous cellphone data to show the movement of populations, the researchers were able to look at how cases of COVID-19 were trending in various cities and how the protests affected the behavior of those who did not participate.

The study collected protest data from 315 of the largest U.S. cities to estimate the impact of the protests. Of them, 281 had protests, 34 did not.

Researchers concluded that as the protests continued, people who were not participating increasingly stayed at home, possibly counteracting any effects the large gatherings may have had on the spread of the virus. However, it is possible that the protests caused an increase in the spread of COVID-19 among those who actually attended the protests.

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