SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Georgia Democrats stepped up their criticism of Herschel Walker this week, calling him out for bad business practices and continuing to criticize him for COVID-19 misinformation they say he’s spewed over the last two years.

Walker, the former NFL football player and Heisman Trophy winner, has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and — while facing two other Republicans in the primary — is perceived by many as the presumptive GOP nominee that will face Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in the November election.

State Rep. Teri Anulewicz, a Democrat representing Cobb County, appeared with two business owners Tuesday in Atlanta to rail against Walker about the Paycheck Protection Program. She said the pandemic provided incredible hardships for workers and business owners trying to stay afloat. Anulewicz talked about criticism Walker had leveled against businesses for taking PPP money.

“Walker lectured businesses for taking part in the Paycheck Protection Program while he was earning money sitting on the board of a company that collected nearly $10 million in PPP loans before laying off 90 percent of their employees,” said Anulewicz.

She pointed to Walker’s statements that he wouldn’t rely on PPP for his own businesses but then went on to take up to $200,000 for one of them — Renaissance Man Food Services.

“Yet he had the nerve to try to shame other businesses,” she said. “If Walker wants us to judge his potential as a senator on his decisions as a businessman, he falls way short.”

Walker campaign spokesman Mallory Blount told WSAV News 3 that, “sadly, the restaurant and hospitality industries were among the hardest hit by COVID and government mandates. In many cases, they were forced to shut down through no fault of their own.”

Her email went on to say: “Like thousands of other small businesses, Renaissance Man Food Services took PPP funding to keep staff on payroll. Herschel’s tweet was referring to multi-billion dollar corporations that took multi-million dollar loans, which were clearly meant to keep small businesses afloat.”

Democrats, however, had more to say.

“Georgians are seeing the real Herschel Walker — a politician who mocks their needs, avoids their questions, spreads dangerous misinformation, lies about his record and does anything to help himself,” said Dan Gottlieb, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia.

In terms of misinformation, the Democrats start by pointing to an appearance on the Glenn Beck podcast back in August of 2020. This was before Walker was a political candidate.

Walker indicated he knew about an innovative product to prevent COVID.

“That can bring you into a building that would clean you from COVID as you walk through this dry mist. As you walk through the door it would kill any COVID on your body,” said Walker that day.

Democrats say that pitch was tantamount to selling snake oil, and that since Walker has announced his senate candidacy, he has avoided saying whether he is vaccinated.

They also point to an appearance last month on Jan. 13 at the University of Georgia. Walker talked with young Republican students about a number of topics. When it came to COVID, he indicated concerns about whether vaccines are effective.

“Now they say, ‘OK, if you get the shot, you may need to get a booster. You’re going to get COVID. If you don’t get the shot, then get the booster, and you’re still going to get COVID,'” Walker can be heard saying on a videotape.

Blount responded to a question about those comments and sent this statement: “Herschel has made it clear that Americans need to be given the freedom to decide whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccine and he encourages people to talk with their doctor and make the decision that is best for them.”

Recently, WSAV did talk to Dr. Stephen Thacker, an infectious disease pediatrician and the Associate Medical Director of Memorial Health in Savannah.

When asked if there is any type of mist product that would prevent or cure COVID, Thacker said: “Not to my knowledge.”

WSAV then asked Thacker about vaccines and if they’re a good thing.

“On that, I am very aware. And yes, vaccination against COVID-19 is without a doubt the safe and effective way in which people can prevent harm to themselves and their community,” said Thacker. “And because of our vaccines, so many of us have family members and friends who are with us who would not have been.”

In terms of COVID and the campaign, the politics of the pandemic may continue to be a theme for both sides. Despite attempts to discredit Walker, his standing in the polls is growing. Thursday, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley endorsed him.

Still, Democrats show no signs they’ll let up on their talking points, which most recently include what they term Walker’s hypocrisy over the PPP program.

“Georgians of all political stripes deserve so much better than what Herschel Walker is offering our state,” said Anulewicz.