Lags in testing, medical shortages make it dangerous for Kemp to reopen the state
As barbershops, bowling alleys, and other businesses across Georgia open today thanks to Brian Kemp’s “reckless” and “irresponsible” executive order, a reminder: health experts warn that it’s too dangerous to reopen the state without widespread testing — which Georgia doesn’t have. As of today, Georgia is at 22,147 reported coronavirus cases, with 892 deaths.
After leaders across Georgia and even President Trump cautioned on how risky it is to reopen the state, Kemp doubled down on his order, even as hospitals in rural Georgia say they already “don’t have enough staff or beds as it is,” and that reopening business means hospitals “could be hit with a second wave of cases.”
Health experts warn that this crisis will not be over soon for Georgia, and will be made worse by Kemp’s reckless decision. Leading national disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Kemp’s decision is “going to backfire” for Georgia’s public health, and that it “certainly isn’t going to be helpful.”
Emory infectious disease expert Dr. Carlos del Rio warned:
“It’s no different than saying, ‘Oh, you know, I’m going to go up Mount Everest. I got to the peak, I’m done’… No, you still need to come down from the peak, and coming down could be just as dangerous going up.”
Georgia is behind most other states in tests per capita, and health experts say “the state lacks the testing capacity needed to detect the true scope of the disease.”
AJC: Still strapped for resources, rural hospitals wary of state re-opening