Just minutes before over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases and 42 more deaths were reported in Georgia, on Monday, April 20, Gov. Brian Kemp announced plans to re-open some businesses like movie theaters and bowling alleys, as healthcare care providers continue to beg for basic protective gear.
Kemp’s recommendation goes against the expert advice of medical professionals who warn that Georgia’s coronavirus crisis is “far from over.”
As Georgia prepares to open back up despite warnings from medical experts, Kemp’s decision has been met with disbelief from some mayors, who mentioned that the state’s death toll and case rate have not seen a decisive drop. Such a benchmark is one of the indicators laid out in the Trump administration’s guidelines for reopening local economies. The country’s top infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, warned that easing restrictions too soon not only endangers lives, but it could also put a serious squeeze on demand for medical supplies, which are already in critically short supply.
“Last month, the Governor’s Chief-of-Staff said that medical professionals were ‘peddling doomsday models’ and that local governments are “overreacting.” Now there are  dead Georgians. We’ve known Kemp’s office did not take this pandemic as seriously as they should and today’s rollbacks are the latest example. This is a mistake and it’s going to cost even more Georgians their lives,” State Rep. Shelly Hutchinson said in a statement on the irresponsible reopenings. ” In many of the
industries the Governor reopened, it is impossible to social distance. You cannot cut hair from six feet away. Gym machines cannot be properly sanitized between every single use,” Shelly added.
“Without enough testing, without enough supplies for doctors and nurses, and without listening to medical professionals, the governor’s actions today will make this crisis even worse and put more Georgians at risk. Now is the time to listen to the health providers and public health experts who tell us what we need to keep our communities safe. I urge all Georgians to listen to the advice of their health care providers and stay home — even if their governor won’t,” said DPG Chairwoman Nikema Williams released the following statement.
Deaths in the US have nearly doubled in the past week.