Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, is taking some action to protect the state against COVID-19, but he is still refusing to shut down the state.
Kemp says his stance against closing the state is due to the fact he does not want to stop Georgians from being able to provide for their families. However, he is encouraging people across the state to get vaccinated against coronavirus.
“This safe, effective vaccine reduces the likelihood you could get infected with COVID-19, but more importantly, it will drastically reduce the chances of you ending up in a hospital bed or losing your life,” Kemp said.
Not everyone is backing the governor’s decision. In response to a recent executive order released by Kemp, in which he banned local governments from enacting mask mandates, Savannah Mayor Van R. Johnson wrote a tweet condemning his decision.
“It is officially official. Governor Kemp does not give a damn about us,” Johnson wrote. “Every man and woman for himself/herself. Ignore the science and survive the best you can. In #Savannah, we will continue to keep the faith and follow the science. Masks will continue to be available!”
Kemp has also announced he will raise the number of state-supported medical staff in hospitals from 1,300 to 2,800, which represents almost $125 million dollar staffing investment on top of the already committed $500 million dollars that will be put toward both rural and metropolitan areas of the state.
“Today I want to reiterate Georgia will remain open for business, we will not shut down, we will not stop families from earning a paycheck,” Kemp said.
Kemp has planned to give all state employees Sept. 3 off and strongly encourages them to get vaccinated before they return to work. Commissioner of Georgia Department of Public Health Dr. Kathleen Toomey has also made promises of more available testing in wake of the lines at Atlanta testing centers beginning to lengthen.
Henry Keating '24 is a Journalism and History student at Mercer. He has worked at The Cluster as SGA correspondent, State and Local News Editor, Managing Editor and now as the Editor-in-Chief. Henry has held internships at the Macon Newsroom, Macon Telegraph, and Greenville Post and Courier. He enjoys backpacking, rom-coms, pottery and photography.