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CNN guest says COVID-19 isn't as big a concern for social justice protests because racism is a 'public health crisis'

But he criticized the RNC crowd

People attend the "Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks" protest against racism and police brutality on Friday in Washington, DC. The protest also marked the 57th anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech delivered at the Lincoln Memorial. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

While discussing social distancing on CNN, Dr. Rob Davidson said that the lack of COVID-19 precautions at social justice protests aren't as concerning as the crowd at the White House for President Donald Trump's Republican National Convention speech, because racism is a public health issue.

Members of the media heavily criticized President Trump for allowing 1,500 people to sit in close quarters outside the White House for his Thursday night speech, citing the risk of COVID-19 spread since attendees weren't required to be tested for the virus, and very few people wore masks.

On Friday, however, thousands of people marched in Washington, D.C., in protest of police brutality against minorities. The protest was labeled as a "March on Washington" with the official title, "Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks," a reference to the Minneapolis Police Department killing of George Floyd.

Here's what Dr. Davidson had to say about the RNC gathering:

"I was very concerned about the White House event last night, 1,500 people packed shoulder-to-shoulder, the head of the White House coronavirus task force in attendance without a mask, with his family and his elderly mother without a mask, and it's concerning. We know people weren't tested, only people in direct contact with President Trump had tests done. So I think we are going to see cases come out of that, and it's just modeling bad behavior."

And here's what he had to say about the protest:

"Now when you juxtapose that with what's going on in Washington, D.C. right now, people mostly wearing masks. Now true there is social distancing issues, however this is a public health crisis they are marching against. Systemic racism has taken so many lives in this country throughout our history. ... I just think that when you're marching against a public health emergency, you do every risk mitigation procedure you can, but we understand that you have to do the risk-benefit analysis, and the folks there are doing something very important today."

Davidson draws the distinction that many protesters are wearing masks. However, one of the greatest concerns public health experts have consistently raised about mask use is that they fear people who wear masks will then neglect social distancing, leading to more spread of the virus.

One last thing…
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