Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia

BISHOP CAUTIONS AGAINST STATE REOPENING

Apr 21, 2020
Press Release

COLUMBUS, GA – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statement regarding the upcoming reopening of Georgia’s businesses:

“I am deeply concerned about the Governor’s decision to reopen Georgia. While we have had some recent good news in Albany regarding decreased hospitalizations, it is not because the threat of the virus has passed. We have seen a decrease in hospitalizations because of the shelter-in-place and social distancing, which help to protect everyone from people who do not know they are infected. I understand everyone is feeling cabin fever or worse, financial insecurity from unemployment. Unfortunately, Georgia is ranked 46th in the nation for completed tests per 1,000 people. Without widespread testing and tracing, I fear reopening too soon will only lead to more grief than we currently feel with social distancing.

“This virus is something I have never seen in my lifetime, but it is not the first pandemic the world has faced. The Spanish Influenza outbreak in 1918 is the deadliest pandemic in the recent history of the world, and we know the Second Wave killed more than the First Wave in places that stopped social distancing. With Albany having the most deaths in the state, despite our much smaller population than Atlanta, I worry our area will continue to be hit the hardest and more hot spots will appear across the state.

“It cannot be emphasized enough that even with the economy reopening at the end of the week, things will not be ‘normal.’ More Georgians dying daily is not only an enormous tragedy but harms the economy. To be clear, human lives are more important than the economy. However, we must reject the false idea that we have to choose between public health and the economy. The best way forward for public health and the economy is stopping the spread of the virus. We will make it through this crisis by working together.”