We must act now knowing that these actions will have immediate impact, although it may take weeks to see cases decrease. We understand that new restrictions may have an economic impact on businesses, but the economic impact of rising infections will be equally – or more - damaging. Controlling the spread of COVID-19 will ultimately lead to improved economic outcomes as we adapt to the virus and learn to conduct business safely. Furthermore, unless we can control this epidemic and once again begin to see a decrease in cases, we will not be able to safely send our children to school in the fall, which will have long-lasting repercussions on their education, health, and well-being.
We understand that Gov. Kemp has had to deal with political considerations. At this time, however, we urge Gov. Kemp and our leaders to put politics aside and to make the health and safety of Georgia’s citizens their foremost concern. To the legislators of Georgia, we say that successful control of the virus will be their biggest political victory.
We hope that Gov. Kemp and his staff will listen to our plea.
Jesse Couk, M.D. is chair of Infectious Diseases, Shepherd Center, and assistant director of Infection Control, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. Sophie Lukashok, M.D., is president of the Infectious Diseases Society of Georgia. Melanie Thompson, M.D., is principal investigator at the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta. They submitted this as well on behalf of the Concerned Healthcare Workers of Georgia, the Infectious Diseases Society of Georgia and the Department of Infectious Diseases at Emory University.