Surgeon General Jerome AdamsJerome AdamsTrump administration surgeon general predicts 'winter surge' in COVID-19 Overnight Health Care — Biden urges parents to vaccinate children Trump surgeon general says he plans to vaccinate 11-year-old as soon as possible MORE says he's worried protests around the country over the death of George Floyd could cause a rebound in the coronavirus.
In an interview with Politico, the nation's top doctor warned that there is "every reason to expect" that massive protests in Washington, D.C., New York City, Minneapolis and elsewhere could contribute to "new outbreaks" in the U.S.
“Based on the way the disease spreads, there is every reason to expect that we will see new clusters and potentially new outbreaks moving forward,” he said.
Adams, who is black, warned that the disease could continue to have a greater effect on African Americans gathering to protest racism and police brutality.
“I remain concerned about the public health consequences both of individual and institutional racism [and] people out protesting in a way that is harmful to themselves and to their communities,” he told Politico.
"You understand the anger, you hope that we can find ways that really can help people channel their anger into meaningful steps forward,” Adams continued. “There is going to be a lot to do after this, even to try and get the communities of color back to where they need to be for people to be able to recover from COVID, and for people to be able to recover from the shutdown and to be able to prosper.”
Adams's remarks come as protests have erupted in dozens of U.S. cities. Floyd's death was caught on video that showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed on the ground and saying he could not breathe.
States across the U.S. were just beginning to see nonessential businesses reopen from coronavirus-related restrictions when protests began. Now, residents in some cities, including Washington, D.C., face new restrictions put in place by local officials to quell the demonstrations.
The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 1.8 million people in the U.S., and caused more than 100,000 deaths.