GOP Georgia governor issues dire COVID-19 warning less than two weeks after grand ‘reopening’
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has been slammed by everyone from health experts to Democrats, liberals and Never Trump conservatives for his push to end the shutdown in his state and reopen businesses that were previously deemed non-essential such as hair salons and restaurants. And now, Kemp is warning that the number of coronavirus infections is growing in Northeast Georgia.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that Kemp “warned on Tuesday that a growing coronavirus outbreak is stressing resources in Northeast Georgia.” While visiting a temporary medical pod in Southwest Georgia, Kemp warned, “They’re being stressed pretty hard up there at the moment.”
The Georgia Department of Health has reported that almost 30,000 Georgia residents, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, have tested positive for coronavirus and that more than 1300 people have died from it in the state. Nationwide, Hopkins has reported over 71,400 coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. — and worldwide, the death toll has passed 259,000.
Gainesville, which is about 50 miles from Atlanta and has a large poultry industry, is one of the places in Northeast Georgia that is being hit hard by coronavirus. And Georgia-based health official Dave Palmer has been encouraging poultry processors to keep a close eye on their employees and warn them about signs of infection.
AP notes, “Georgia became a lightning rod for criticism in the national debate over reopening when Kemp moved to allow businesses such as tattoo parlors, bowling alleys and hair and nail salons to reopen with restrictions in late April. Restaurants and movie theaters have since been able to welcome customers back in on a limited basis, and a statewide shelter-at-home order has expired.”