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Prediction: President Trump will blame a spike in coronavirus cases on all the protests

Published May 31st, 2020 8:00PM EDT
George Floyd protests
Image: Erin Schaff/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
  • George Floyd protests have multiplied and escalated around the country this weekend, as Americans poured into the streets to protest the killing by Minneapolis police of an unarmed man during his arrest.
  • This all comes even as the US is still trying to deal with the coronavirus pandemic — infections, and deaths from which are still on the rise.
  • President Trump will likely point to the protests this weekend if we see a spike in coronavirus cases over the coming days, to take attention away from his administration’s response to the virus.

No question, this has been a depressing weekend in the US. Anyone who’s opened their social media feeds since Friday night will have been greeted with scenes offering a mixture of peaceful, loud and emotional, and in some cases violent and out-of-control protests in major cities around the US, as the killing of an unarmed man named George Floyd by Minneapolis police touched a raw, painful nerve in the American psyche.

“LAW & ORDER!” reads a terse tweet President Trump posted Sunday afternoon, after using the social network earlier in he day to call on cities and states around the country to call in more National Guard troops. I point to the president’s Twitter account, the subject of even more scrutiny than ever these days, because I fully expect to see some version of the following emanate from it soon: My prediction is that any surge in coronavirus cases over the coming days will be blamed by the president on the protestors who’ve filled the nation’s streets this weekend.

Of course, it’s the kind of thing that will only further inflame the division in the country right now, and be used as a pretext for who knows what additional actions that might be taken to the quell the ongoing spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Just as a reminder of where things stand with the pandemic and its effects in the US, there have been more than 1.7 million confirmed infections in the US, as well as more than 104,000 reported deaths from the coronavirus. That’s according to the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, as we noted yesterday, protests are continuing to multiply and escalate in scores of cities around the country. Among the most recent developments as of the time of this writing:

  • French and English footballers showed support for the George Floyd protests during Sunday matches. One lifted up a jersey to reveal a T-shirt underneath on which was written the words: “Justice for George Floyd.”
  • According to CNN, almost 40 cities around the US have imposed curfews in response to the protests, and as of Sunday morning, about 5,000 National Guard members have been activated in more than a dozen states.
  • At least six people were shot in Chicago on Saturday, with one person dying. Some 240 people were also arrested. Police Superintendent David Brown told news outlets Sunday that police cars were overturned and covered with graffiti.
  • Michael Jordan released the following statement on the death of George Floyd, via the Twitter account of the Charlotte Hornets:

Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.