SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Georgia House Democratic Caucus held a virtual press briefing Thursday to make their message clear: “It is too soon to go out.”
Minority Caucus Chairman James Beverly, who represents the Macon area, said the caucus is urging the governor to maintain a shelter-in-place order as “we’re still in the first wave of this virus.”
“Change your course — start to move in a direction that respects science,” he said.
Many of the Democrats expressed their concerns for different groups — from children struggling to get through school without WiFi to mall workers putting themselves at risk to those without access to healthcare.
“We can take care of the economics, we can take care of the schools, we can fight about the disparities that we have in our healthcare system but we can’t do that if we’re not alive,” Beverly said.
Rep. Donna McCloud, of the Lawrenceville area, expressed her concerns for businesses opening too soon, including that employers are struggling to secure personal protective equipment for employees.
McCloud said, however, that local government is doing a great job adapting to the changes being made on the state level.
“I’m grateful to the cities and the counties for stepping up,” she said. “They have really done a good job in stepping up for us and they are using pockets of their money to serve the underserved and the small business.”
Beverly said the General Assembly received notice Thursday that they could return to session sometime in June. But he is calling on the House Speaker to reconsider “especially as it relates to the workers that come in before us.”
“To have then come in two weeks prior to us I believe is ill-advised,” he added.
Beverly concluded saying: “We haven’t even begun to crest. We don’t know what science is saying right now. What we do know is that it’s not time to go out.”
“If we pull together and every stakeholder has a chance to answer the question on how we eradicate this real enemy,” he added, “We’ll fix it.”