Thursday, 30 April 2020

The Atlantic Mocks Georgia Governor Reopening State: An ‘Experiment In Human Sacrifice’

On Wednesday, The Atlantic published a piece with as insulting a title as can be imagined toward the state government of Georgia, called, “Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice.” The subtitle read,The state is about to find out how many people need to lose their lives to shore up the economy.”
Amanda Mull of The Atlantic calls Georgia governor Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen the state last week a “U-turn” that “has left Georgians scrambling.” She follows with this pronouncement: “Kemp’s order shocked people across the country … Kemp’s move to reopen was condemned by scientists, high-ranking Republicans from his own state, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms;  it even drew a public rebuke from President Donald Trump, who had reportedly approved the measures before distancing himself from the governor amid the backlash.”
Then Mull segues to her central thesis: “Public-health officials broadly agree that reopening businesses—especially those that require close physical contact—in places where the virus has already spread will kill people.” After admitting that many other states are quietly considering similar moves to Georgia’s,” the Atlantic accuses Kemp of “acting with particular haste.”
Mull writes of the “dozen local leaders, business owners, and workers” to whom she spoke that they are in a “struggle between a state government and ordinary people” before plunging to describing Georgia’s “brash reopening” as “a morbid experiment in just how far states can push their people. Georgians are now the largely unwilling canaries in an invisible coal mine, sent to find out just how many individuals need to lose their job or their life for a state to work through a plague.”
Mull quotes Harry Heiman, a public-health professor at Georgia State University, slamming the state government as he stated, “They’ve long prioritized policies that they believe support businesses, even though those same policies might not be good for workers or for the communities that those workers come from.” Heiman postulated a racial aspect to the reopening of the state: “We’re opening up businesses that are not only high-touch and requiring proximity, but we’re also choosing industries where racial- and ethnic-minority communities are disproportionately represented.”
Mull breathes, “All Georgians can do now is try to protect themselves as best they can. If social distancing decreases because lots of businesses reopen, another deluge of COVID-19 cases could be inevitable. Because of how infections tend to progress, it may be two or three weeks before hospitals see a new wave of people whose lungs look like they’re studded with ground glass in X-rays. By then, there’s no telling how many more people could be carrying the disease into nail salons or tattoo parlors, going about their daily lives because they were told they could do so safely.”
After Kemp announced the reopening of Georgia on April 20, he appeared on Fox News, where he explained:
I announced this on Monday so we can have time to educate the public and the business owners that this is just not handing them the keys back to go back to where we were. This is a measured approach with a lot of different requirements and guidance that we’re going to be putting out. And I’m very confident of that step. It was done in conjunction with public health officials based on the data that we’re seeing in our state and the gateways to the phase one part of the president’s plan.”
Kemp continued:
I spent all weekend working with Dr. Toomey, who’s a … great epidemiologist, a great public health official, one of the best I think in the country. I did not make this decision without her support. We pored over this data. We’re looking at all kind of different models. I’ve had hospital CEOs that I’ve been … in contact with that reached their peak way back on April the 6th. … They support a measured opening which is what we are doing. It’s going to be very limited in scope, basic operations. We’re talking about a few businesses that I closed down to help flatten the curve which we have done in our state.
But for us to continue to ask them to do that while they lose everything, quite honestly, there are a lot of civil repercussions of that, mental health issues. We’re seeing more patients in our trauma centers in our state because people are just you know, they’re tired of it.

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