ATLANTA (WSAV) — Georgia’s governor and members of his coronavirus task force held a live town hall Thursday night with journalists from around the state to discuss their response to COVID-19.
The question on the minds of many Georgians: why hasn’t Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statewide lockdown?
One journalist presented a comment by a constituent who said they voted for the governor but thought his lack of action was “irresponsible.”
Kemp argued that it isn’t easy to apply the same measures that cities like Atlanta have to the entire state. He said he’s having to balance a number of factors for various population sizes.
“In Jeff Davis County — I know two days ago they didn’t even have a single case down there — and you have people saying: ‘Look we need to be working. I’m worried about losing my home. I’m worried about getting meals for my kids,'” the governor said. “Those are the kind of things that we’re balancing.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who this week issued a 14-day stay at home order for city residents, said she understands the balancing act Kemp is facing.
“I certainly understand that there are many other cities throughout the state that are not navigating the same challenges that we are,” she said.
But the mayor added: “If it were my call, I would have a stay at home order for the entire country.”
The governor pointed back to the executive action he took Monday ordering the “medically fragile” and those living in longterm health care facilities to quarantine.
Kemp also ordered all bars, restaurants and businesses to close unless they can limit gatherings to 10 people, maintaining the 6 feet social distancing rule.
On Thursday, he also extended closure for public elementary and secondary schools through April 24.
“I think we’ve targeted the areas that we need to target,” the governor said, adding, “If we need to do more in the future, I certainly still have that tool in the toolbox.”
Watch the video above to hear more from Kemp and Bottoms, along with Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey, Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency Director Homer Bryson and Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John King.