Neither of these statements is true. COVID is a global pandemic, but the rise in violence was uniquely American. New York’s violence rise was real, and it was larger here than in most other cities.
Violence didn’t skyrocket till late May and June, post-George Floyd, well after COVID was at its worst. Nor did other countries, including Canada and Mexico, see a COVID-related increase at all.
Those who wish to dismiss concern over rising violence as “hysteria” do great disservice to the additional 2.5 people who were shot, on average, daily in 2020, compared to 2019 levels. Violence begets violence, and ignoring victims and people in at-risk neighborhoods doesn’t help.