NYC COVID Contact Tracers Not Allowed to Ask About Protest Attendance
Written by Luis Miguel
Contract tracers working for the city of New York reportedly are not permitted to ask anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 if they have attended any recent protests, despite the lack of social distancing at those events and their likelihood for allowing the virus to spread to other individuals.
According to the online site The City, the hundreds of contact tracers throughout the Big Apple have specifically received the instruction not to ask about the protests, even though both Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) have publicly voiced concerns about the potential viral ramifications of the large George Floyd protests.
In an e-mail to The City, de Blasio spokesperson Avery Cohen confirmed the instruction, writing, “No person will be asked proactively if they attended a protest.”
Test-and-trace workers are instead supposed to ask COVID-positive individuals general questions to help them “recall ‘contacts’ and individuals they may have exposed,” Cohen explained.
For example, tested persons are asked, “Do you live with anyone in your home?”
Tracers proceed to ask about “close contacts,” which is defined as being within six feet of another person for at least 10 minutes.
It is then up to the COVID-positive person to disclose whether he has attended any of the recent protests. “If a person wants to proactively offer that information, there is an opportunity for them to do so,” Cohen said.
The mayor’s “test and trace” program was first announced on May 8. De Blasio promised to hire 1,000 “contact tracers.” Although City Hall has not yet revealed how many individuals have been questioned so far, the mayor vowed to have that information available this week.
Most people questioned by contact tracers have reportedly been cooperative, but some have declined to provide desired information. “Naturally, we have not been able to obtain all information from all positive cases, but engagement among those reached is high,” Cohen wrote.
State and local leaders have asserted ignorance on the subject of whether the many George Floyd demonstrations, in many cases encompassing hundreds of protesters, have contributed to more coronavirus cases.
“That’s the one variable in this equation that we’re not sure of: We don’t know what the effect of those protests are,” said Cuomo last week.
Considering the fact that health authorities and politicians have warned the public repeatedly that simply letting people go back to work and school could lead to a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases, how is it even a question of whether having hundreds of people packed together on the streets would lead to more infections?
Defenders of omitting questioning about the protests in contact trace interviews claim it’s necessary to maintain trust so that subjects will give truthful responses. “I think the logic has to do with the fact that contact tracing requires a strong level of trust between the interviewer and the person they’re talking to,” said Dr. S. Patrick Kachur, a professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a former official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s really important to have a good rapport and treat people with ease. It’s important to not ask questions that will impede your ability to do the best job you can.”
Kahur went on to argue that you’re more likely to get infected at home or during day-to-day community activities than among thousands of strangers. “There’s definitely a concern that state and city officials have that the protests could be a place where transmission occurs, but that risk is lower than household and other community contacts,” Kachur said. “And it would be really challenging to trace those contacts who you’ve been protesting with.”
Democrat leaders who formerly condemned and threatened protesters who wanted to get back to work and church are now in full support of the Black Lives Matter demonstrators. Moreover, they and the media are now trying to shame President Trump for seeking to resume his campaign rallies across America.
Democratic National Committee War Room Director Adrienne Watson, for instance, said that “Tulsa doesn’t want Trump and public health experts warn this could be extremely dangerous.”
“But Trump has shown no concern for the safety and wellbeing of Americans for the entirety of his presidency — why start now? He is only concerned about his own reelection and distracting from his failed response to the pandemic that led to more than a hundred thousand Americans dying and 20 million unemployed.”
The president has fired back at the criticism, noting the double standard.
If there were still any freedom-minded Americans on the fence about whether the COVID-19 lockdowns were based on real science or hysteria-fueled tyranny, the double-speak currently coming from the left should settle the matter once and for all.
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American