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Protesters in Philadelphia on June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests against police brutality have prompted the closure of coronavirus test sites across the country, including in Pennsylvania, Florida, California and Illinois, Politico reports.

Why it matters: This adds to concerns that the protests themselves create an environment in which the virus can easily spread, particularly if and when protesters aren't wearing masks or social distancing.

  • If the virus does spread through a crowd of protesters, it will probably be impossible to trace who a particular case came into contact with.
  • And attendees may not want to share information about their movements with contact tracers anyways, Politico notes.

What they're saying: "We spent all this time closing down, locked down, masks, social distancing and then we turn on the television and you see mass gatherings that could potentially be infecting hundreds and hundreds of people after everything we've done," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said yesterday.

  • Some government and health officials are encouraging protesters to get tested for the coronavirus.

The other side: "Racism is a social determinant of health. It affects the physical and mental health of blacks in the U.S. So I wouldn't weigh these crises separately," Elaine Nsoesie, an assistant professor of global health at Boston University, told NPR.

Go deeper: Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country

Go deeper

Updated Oct 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Booster shots overtake first doses in the U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate entire Brazilian city as part of study — FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adultsU.S. to lift restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8.
  2. Health: New cases down, but the West is at risk — Low vaccination rates exacerbate America's caregiving crisis — COVID is here to stay. So what does "victory" look like? — FDA will review Merck COVID-19 pill.
  3. Politics: NHL announces all but four players have been vaccinated — WHO names new advisory group on COVID origins — Biden admin warns Moderna to "step up" global vaccine supply.
  4. Education: LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations amid staffing shortage — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive — Arizona can't use aid for anti-mask education grants, Treasury says.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Biden rips Trump over Woodward revelations: "He failed to do his job on purpose"

Joe Biden responded Wednesday to reporting in Bob Woodward's new book that shows President Trump intentionally downplayed the threat of the coronavirus in February and March, accusing him of a "life-and-death betrayal of the American people."

Why it matters: It was one of Biden's harshest attacks yet on Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, coming shortly after taped interviews with the president revealed him telling Woodward on March 19, "I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

Coronavirus infections fell by nearly 13% last week

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections fell by almost 13% over the past week — a significant improvement.

Why it matters: Things are moving in the right direction again after a brief plateau, and getting the virus under control now will give the U.S. a much better shot at a safe autumn.