BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh addressed why he allowed thousands of protesters to converge in Boston even though the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has restricted gatherings of more than 10 people across the state. A number of demonstrations took place Sunday in response to the death of George Floyd.
“We believe in free speech. We believe in people’s right to protest people’s right to march. We’re not going to get into a situation where maybe some leaders in Washington might think that that might be the right thing, to do shut these down. That’s not who we are and what we’re about,” he said.
According to the mayor, the health department coordinated with organizers to hand out masks to marchers in an effort to slow any potential spread of the virus.
“It seems like coronavirus has taken a backseat right now but it’s very much front and center,” Walsh said. “Everything that we’ve been talking about for the last three months here, and keeping our numbers of cases down, and trying to keep people safe didn’t go away yesterday. And I think that it’s important and incumbent upon all of us to continue to remember that.”
“My message is to take care of yourself and be careful because you’ll take that virus in your house and the damage that might have been caused last night you’ll do far greater damage to your own family if elderly people get sick and passed from this,” he added.