In spite of widespread condemnation over beginning the reopening process sooner rather than later, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced that the state is now reporting record lows for COVID-19 hospitalizations, ventilator use, and confirmed infections.
When Gov. Kemp first announced that his state would start heading toward normalcy and most businesses were greenlit to reopen back in April, critics came out of the woodwork to condemn the move.
Among the most vocal opponents of Kemp’s bid to reopen the state was Stacey Abrams, who lost the gubernatorial election to Kemp in 2018.
In a late-April tweet following the governor’s announcement, Abrams called Kemp’s decision “dangerously incompetent,” citing the state’s low testing rates, among other factors, at the time.
Georgia: 14th highest infection/7th lowest testing rate; less econ resilient & 1000s of low-wage workers already forced to risk their lives to make a living. Weakened healthcare w/closed rural hospitals, no Medicaid expansion & a doctor shortage. Reopen? Dangerously incompetent. https://t.co/FFfk9EoN3l
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) April 20, 2020
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also warned that Kemp’s reopening plan put the state on a “very reckless path” toward a second wave of coronavirus infections.
In a Fox News interview addressing the criticism at the time, Kemp maintained that he had worked closely with public health officials in the decisionmaking process and clarified that the state was not given carte blanche to reopen and resume normal operations.
Kemp also reported that his state’s healthcare system was hemorrhaging cash due to empty hospital beds—unthinkable during a pandemic. Kemp also outlined plans for testing and mitigation and expressed his confidence in Georgia business owners and citizens to continue following guidelines to protect themselves and others.
Last Saturday, Kemp’s confidence appears to have paid off.
The governor celebrated the news that the weekend brought the lowest number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients since monitoring first began back in April.
“Today marks the lowest number of COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized statewide (1,203) since hospitals began reporting this data on April 8th. Today also marks the lowest total of ventilators in use (897 with 1,945 available),” the governor tweeted. “We will win this fight together!”
Today marks the lowest number of COVID-19 positive patients currently hospitalized statewide (1,203) since hospitals began reporting this data on April 8th.
Today also marks the lowest total of ventilators in use (897 with 1,945 available).
We will win this fight together! pic.twitter.com/byxACEiQCp
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 9, 2020
Kemp confirmed the stats in a Sunday tweet:
Encouraging data as we battle COVID-19 in GA:
✅ Lowest # of COVID-19 patients hospitalized (1,203)
✅ Lowest # of ventilators in use (897)
✅ 110k tested in the last 11 days w/ testing available for all Georgians
✅ Declining percentage of Georgians testing positive (14%)
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) May 10, 2020
“I am extremely proud of Governor Kemp for not caving to the mob who were denouncing his reopening plan,” says PJ Media’s Stacey Lennox, who praised Gov. Kemp’s aggressive tactics to control coronavirus spread in nursing homes—which accounted for a staggering 48% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths.
“Georgia is proving with measured and careful steps forward we absolutely can do two things at once,” Lennox declared. “Let the economy come back and protect the vulnerable to the best of our ability. Locally, I am already hearing calls to increase restaurant capacity to 50% so staff do not have to turn customers away.”
“So, I will await the glowing news coverage of Governor Kemp’s success at leading the country in the effort to reopen,” the columnist concluded. “And of course, the apology from Stacey Abrams. However, I won’t hold my breath.”
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