With President Trump leaning on Republican-run states to lessen their stay-at-home and quarantine orders to help boost this crumbling economy (while urging Dem governors to “Liberate” their residents), Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced today that he will reopen a range of businesses.
Despite Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other health experts warning against prematurely pulling back social distancing measures during this deadly coronavirus crisis, Georgia’s governor announced during a press conference that certain businesses such as hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors and gyms will reopen in his state on April 24; movie theaters and bowling alleys on the 27. He is allowing for elective surgeries to take place as well.
“In the same way that we carefully closed businesses and urged operations to end to mitigate the virus’ spread, today we’re announcing plans to incrementally and safely reopen sectors of our economy,” Kemp told reporters on Monday.
According to WSBTV, Kemp also added that his plan includes:
- Some restaurants, theaters will be able to reopen with strict social distancing guidelines.
- Kemp said he will let the statewide shelter-in-place order expire on April 30. The elderly and medically fragile patients have to shelter-in-place until May 13.
- Houses of worship will be allowed to hold in-person services but within the social distancing guidelines.
For Kemp, who earlier this month admitted to “just learning” that asymptomatic carriers could spread COVID-19, the reasoning behind this new strategy was based on data from the Georgia Department of Public Health that suggests a “flattening of coronavirus cases and a decline of people being hospitalized for the virus.”
As CNN noted, the economy has also played a factor, with him also citing “the White House for guidance.”
“As a small business person for over thirty years, I know the impact of this pandemic on hardworking Georgians in every zip code and every community,” he continued.
Shortly after his press conference, on Twitter Kemp asked for help and “God’s grace.”
It’s important to note that as of Monday afternoon, in the state of Georgia, there have been 18,947 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 733 deaths. Past Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) found that while African-Americans, who account for roughly 32 percent of the state’s population, make up nearly 50 percent of these deaths.
We definitely know that for Black hairstylists and barbers in the state, this move could bring in a much-needed income, but is this worth the risk?
This story is developing and we will provide updates as they become available.