Democrats ready questions for Kemp ahead of Thursday’s coronavirus town hall

The Governor's Statewide Town Hall will air Thursday at 8 p.m.

The Governor's Statewide Town Hall will air Thursday at 8 p.m.

Frustrated with Gov. Brian Kemp’s response to Georgia’s growing coronavirus crisis, state Democrats are gathering sharp questions from voters ahead of a Thursday town hall featuring the Republican and some of his top deputies.

State Rep. Matthew Wilson and other Democrats who have urged Kemp to take more aggressive steps to curb the disease posted on Twitter an #AskGovKemp hashtag ahead of the 8 p.m. event.

Some want to know why he has refused to impose a shelter-in-place order or instituted other restrictions, even as a number of Georgia cities have adopted sweeping bans. (For a cheat sheet, read what Kemp has to say about that here.)

Others worry about the disease’s rapid spread through parts of rural Georgia where fewer restrictions are in place and hospitals are bracing for a wave of patients.

And with a deadline fast approaching, many wonder how long Kemp will extend an order that closed public schools and colleges through the end of the month.

Another topic that seems sure to surface: The ongoing shortage of test kits in the state, which means rationing of the tests will continue indefinitely.

The 8 p.m. event has brought together a host of fierce rivals – metro Atlanta's leading broadcast networks – to televise the town hall in unison. Along with a half-dozen TV networks, more than 140 radio stations across the state will also carry the event live.

The town hall was organized partly by Kemp's staff, and key figures will be sprinkled among the stations. Kemp will be at WSB's Atlanta studios while other officials – including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Kathleen Toomey, head of the public health department – will be at other stations.

The hour-long event is set to begin with updates from Kemp and other officials, before a segment when reporters and others will get the chance to pepper him with questions.