Public/Global Health

COVID-19 is leading cause of law enforcement deaths this year: analysis

Coronavirus infections possibly caught while on the job are now the leading cause of death among U.S. police officers, according to law enforcement groups.

Officer Down, a nonprofit group tracking deaths among law enforcement agencies across the U.S., found that 101 officers have died from COVID-19 so far in 2020, more than twice as many that have died in shootings, the second-highest cause of deaths among law enforcement. The statistic was first reported in The Washington Post on Wednesday.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which also has worked to track deaths of officers from COVID-19, says on its website that 208 officers have died from the disease so far this year.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) recently highlighted the surge in law enforcement deaths during a speech to supporters in Pittsburgh, where the 2020 Democratic nominee made his first campaign stop since the Democratic convention last month.

At the event, he also attacked President Trump for the ongoing unrest in cities across the U.S. over the deaths of Black Americans that occurred during encounters with police as well as the late August shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. The former vice president also condemned the violent protests in some cities.

“This president long ago forfeited any moral leadership in this country,” Biden said Monday. “He can’t stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it.”

“I want to be very clear about all of this — rioting is not protesting,” the former vice president continued. “Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted. Violence will not bring change, it will only bring destruction. It’s wrong in every way, it divides instead of unites.”

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Joe Biden Law enforcement Police unrest

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