Kemp’s refusal to use emergency powers ‘undermines efforts’ to contain COVID-19

ATLANTA — This week, as the number of Georgians infected with COVID-19 skyrockets with 1,247 confirmed coronavirus cases and counting, Governor Brian Kemp is facing increasing criticisms for his failure to take serious statewide action to prevent the spread of the virus, as local elected officials and public health experts call on the governor to take common-sense measures to keep Georgians safe.

While dozens of governors from both parties have taken serious action to restrict gatherings, enact statewide shelter-in-place restrictions and close nonessential business, Kemp’s “refusal to use emergency powers” has left local elected officials to fill in the vacuum – leading to a crisis of leadership that public health experts warn “could undermine Georgia’s effort to contain the disease.”

Georgia is now reporting 1,247 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, with that number rapidly growing. Just last night, southwest Georgia’s Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany reported that they are already out of intensive care space in a part of the state where infection rates are 10 times as high as Georgia’s statewide rate. Without statewide action to reduce the spread, we will soon see a “catastrophe” in Georgia’s healthcare system.

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