Kemp Ignored Science, Put Georgians At Risk

New exclusive reporting from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows how in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Brian Kemp consistently ignored expert scientific and medical advice regarding opening up businesses as the virus raged throughout the state.

Upon analyzing thousands of pages of emails between public health commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey and Governor Kemp and his staff, along with other official documents, the AJC concluded that “Kemp’s administration was slow to act on early warnings about the pandemic’s severity. . .and the state withheld critical information showing the pandemic was worsening as Kemp lifted restrictions.”

Among the most damning indictments of Kemp from the AJC’s research include:

“Throughout the worst public health crisis in a century, Kemp repeatedly disregarded advice from Toomey, federal scientists and other experts.”

“Most often. . .Kemp ranked economic concerns ahead of public health imperatives.”

“The governor’s aides, not public health officials, often determined strategy to contain the virus and dictated public messaging.”

“Public health experts. . .say if Kemp had put an equal priority on containing the virus, Georgia could have averted increasingly severe surges of infections and deaths.”

“‘It’s one thing to say you’re following the science; it’s another thing to shoehorn the science into what you want it to be. . .A lot of people were hurt, and a lot of people died when they didn’t need to.’”

“Toomey had little autonomy from the governor’s office, where Kemp’s aides often decided how and whether her department would share information on the pandemic.”
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