NEWS RELEASE | For Immediate Release
April 20, 2020
Contact: Benita Dodd (404-256-4050)
Foundation President Welcomes Kemp Plan to Reopen Georgia Businesses
Atlanta – Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s announcement today that some businesses closed because of COVID-19 will be allowed to begin reopening on Friday, April 24, (with appropriate precautions) was welcomed as a timely first step by Kyle Wingfield, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
The broader public health state of emergency Kemp declared statewide will continue through May 13.
“The strictest measures on Georgians always had to last only as long only as necessary and no longer,” Wingfield said. “Judge the governor’s decision by the results, but keep in mind what constitutes a right decision versus a wrong one: The point of sheltering in place and closing some businesses was to ‘flatten the curve,’ not to ‘eliminate the curve.’ The goal was to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus and avoid patients overwhelming Georgia’s medical facilities and providers.
“Will we see new cases? Unfortunately, we will. But that would have been true whenever these restrictions were lifted, unless we waited for the entire population to be vaccinated. The goal was to ensure our medical providers would be ready,” Wingfield noted.
Estimates put the development, testing and deployment of a vaccine for the coronavirus at more than one year away.
“We can’t wait that long to let more Georgians reclaim their livelihoods and resume putting food on the table by returning to their jobs – jobs that did not cause this calamity. The vast majority of workers are unable to telecommute, and certainly not for weeks and months on end. They need to report to a physical job site.
“Those of us able to work from home should be very reluctant to condemn to privation those who can’t.”
Wingfield expects customers to be prudent as businesses open: “Not everybody will rush out; most will use good judgment and begin by returning to patronize the businesses they trust. We’re supposed to be a self-governing people. That means exercising some self-restraint and what we’ve learned about social distancing over the past month-plus. We are all still required to be smart, vigilant and considerate toward others.”
About the Georgia Public Policy Foundation: Established in 1991, the Foundation is a trusted, independent resource for voters and elected officials. The Foundation provides actionable solutions to real-life problems by bringing people together. Regular events include Leadership Breakfasts, Policy Briefing Luncheons and the annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. Weekly publications are the Friday Facts and Friday Idea commentaries.