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Mass anti-Netanyahu rallies are likely not a major health hazard — US expert

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(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The Times of Israel, September 2020

The mass demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are likely to be relatively safe in terms of COVID-19, a researcher has said, after monitoring coronavirus rates in the aftermath of American racial justice protests. An estimated 20,000 people took part in demonstrations against Netanyahu on Saturday. Some politicians have accused protesters of endangering public health, and Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch even labeled a demonstration a “health terror attack.”

But analysts in the United States have cast doubt on the idea that demonstrations cause coronavirus surges, after analyzing protest rates and virus rates there. “If you would have asked me in in early June, I may have expected at least some surge of the disease in the states with the biggest protests,” said Prof. David Lazer, a member of a research team that probed the topic, drawn from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers universities. “But when we had data, we saw states with the biggest protests were not states with the biggest surges.”

Continue reading at The Times of Israel.

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