Birx says dozens of coronavirus testing sites have been destroyed by rioters

Officials are worried huge protests could result in spike in coronavirus cases

Published: June 10, 2020 11:05am

Updated: June 10, 2020 12:52pm

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx says that dozens of COVID-19 testing sites have been destroyed by rioters during the recent Black Lives Matter protests, a setback the Trump administration fears could contribute to the continued spread of the disease throughout the country. 

Numerous recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations, sparked by the killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd at the hands of local police, have descended into chaos and violence as some protesters have taken to property destruction, clashing with police and looting. 

Among the consequences of those riots has been the destruction of 70 COVID-19 testing sites across the country. Birx confirmed that in a call to state governors Monday, audio of which was obtained by the Daily Beast.

Birx said the destroyed testing locations have already resulted in a drop in testing rates in the affected areas. She urged governors to ensure that "there is testing available in urban areas" within their states, according to the Beast. 

Some health officials in recent weeks have been concerned that the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, which have sometimes involved tens of thousands of individuals packed into city streets, will result in a sharp spike in coronavirus cases. 

Public authorities have been directing Americans to maintain "social distance" for several months, though as the protests have continued to grow, many have cast those recommendations aside in favor of supporting the densely crowded demonstrations.  

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