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Public Health Experts Warn Police Tactics Put Protesters at Risk of COVID-19

HeadlineJun 04, 2020

A coalition of public health officials is calling on police departments to end the widespread use of tear gas against protesters during the pandemic. An online petition signed by nearly 1,300 infectious disease specialists warns the gas could “increase risk for COVID-19 by making the respiratory tract more susceptible to infection, exacerbating existing inflammation, and inducing coughing.” The experts also warn against holding anyone arrested in confined spaces, including jails or police vans, which are some of the highest-risk areas for COVID-19 transmission. Despite the health risks, the experts encourage people to continue their protests, writing, “White supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19.”

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