Brian Kemp Is Failing Georgians During The Coronavirus Pandemic

April 1, 2020

With Georgians’ health at risk, it’s well beyond time for Kemp to take statewide action

ATLANTA – As Governor* Brian Kemp prepares to deliver his latest update on his “too little too late” response to the coronavirus pandemic, “soaring” numbers of Georgians are filing for unemployment while health professionals say they’ve “never felt more abandoned” by their government in fighting this crisis. COVID-19 is expected to be “particularly brutal” in Georgia. 

Democratic Party of Georgia Chairwoman Nikema Williams made the following statement: 

“I have spent the last two weeks recovering from this disease and I know very well that Georgians across our state are terrified of how this virus will impact our families, our communities, and our jobs. Our governor refuses to take the statewide action that medical professionals and public health experts tell us will save lives. We are in a crisis, our governor is dragging his feet, and playing catch-up when millions of lives are at stake. Governor Kemp needs to take action now for a consistent statewide shelter in place order, before it’s too late.” 

Kemp has faced increasing criticism for his failure of leadership in handling this crisis, including from public health experts, local elected officials, and the editorial board of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Below are ten ways Kemp and his administration has failed Georgians during this epidemic: 

  1. As more and more Georgians call for COVID-19 testing, Kemp’s administration has “struggled to expand [Georgia’s] testing capabilities” and offers of help from medical labs have gone unanswered
  2. Kemp refused to close bars and nightclubs in Georgia until March 24th, and still hasn’t closed restaurants statewide — making him one of the last governors to act. 
  3. Kemp waited over a week to take action to protect nursing homes and Georgia seniors from coronavirus spread — leading to over 30 nursing homes and facilities with residents testing positive. 
  4. Despite Georgia’s rural hospitals being devastated by COVID-19, Kemp refuses to fully expand Medicaid, which would grant hospitals much-needed funding and get health care coverage to half a million Georgians. 
  5. This week, Kemp’s Attorney General Chris Carr doubled down on Georgia’s support for the toxic lawsuit that would overturn the Affordable Care Act, which would end critical protections for over 1.8 Georgians with pre-existing conditions in the middle of a pandemic. 
  6. Kemp claimed rural Georgia was less threatened by COVID-19, despite testimony from health experts that this is not the case.  
  7. Kemp’s own chief of staff, Tim Fleming, “blindsided” local elected officials when he criticized local leaders across the state for “overreacting” to the crisis — when they were following Kemp’s orders.  
  8. Kemp has refused to designate grocery, retail, and food processing workers as emergency personnel, despite other governors taking that step. 
  9. Kemp has failed the business community by failing to implement statewide guidance on how localities should operate in this crisis, leading to confusion as services and businesses confront “varying and uncoordinated orders at the county and city levels.” 
  10. Kemp refuses to mandate a statewide stay at home order, against the advice of medical professionals. At least 34 states have already issued stay-at-home orders, including Florida, South Carolina and Texas.


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