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tv   Georgia Gov. Kemp Holds Coronavirus Briefing  CSPAN  July 17, 2020 4:09pm-5:23pm EDT

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745 point $5 billion authorization act. watch live coverage c-span, live coverage of the senate on c-span2, watch anytime on or listen with the three c-span radio app. georgia governor brian kemp event update on coronavirus in his state. he urged residents to wear a face mask in public. however earlier in the week he barred local authorities from enforcing their own mask mandates. the governor was joined by other officials at his briefing held at the state capitol. yesterday the governor and i had the privilege of meeting with the white house coronavirus task force coordinators, dr. deborah birx and dr. robert redfield. we had conversations about a wide range of covid-19 topics, but none more timely than
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getting our children back to school. throughout the last few weeks, i have spent countless hours talking with educational leaders around the state. everyone agrees that for the future of our sheer drum -- our children, we want everything we can have them back in a learning environment this fall. working with superintendent woods, administrators, and school boards around the state, we have crafted guidelines for schools that i am very proud of because it took the assumption that we would open schools but we would do it very safely and ensure that schools have the tools they have to protect the students, the staff, the teachers as well as the community as a whole. we know and fully expect that there will be some cases of covid among students and teachers and we are doing everything we can to provide the resources needed to protect
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everyone in the school setting. fema, schools are receiving allotments of ppe to prepare for reopening. just as we know it is in the best interest of students to go back to school, we know that schools need to be prepared to respond to cases in the classroom and we have worked to develop guidelines so that local public health or state public health departments will work closely with schools to follow up on cases. reassuring that a single case of covid does not require that a single school shutdown. we have our team of contact thisrs -- almost 1300 at point, that can quickly identify and isolate close contacts to continue the educational experience for the students not exposed. we know that children are at
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risk for severe complications of data,and based on our that has been reinforced. we also know that when children are not in the classroom, they can suffer from many sorts of development of challenges. -- developmental challenges. we want to do everything we can to make sure all children have the opportunity for learning experiences this year. please work with your communities and do the simple things that we know work to combat the spread of the virus. yes, wear a mask, wash your hands, 19 social distancing, and work with us to help get our kids back to school this fall. right now we are seeing an increase in covid in committees throughout the state in many settings, not just in urban atlanta, but also suburban and rural areas. our test positivity rate on
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which reflects% community spread at this time and hospitalizations have increased 39% over the past week. county haveekalb the most number of cases, accounting for nearly 26% of cases. we continue to see outbreaks in workplaces, businesses, congregate settings, daycares, camps, fraternity houses, churches, and anyplace where there is a large number of people gathering. among our most honorable populations, long-term care facilities, we have seen outbreaks. in all these cases we very quickly want to begin our intervention, begin our follow-up with local health apartments to ensure we do contact investigation and
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contain the spread wherever that may be. it is critical we take personal responsibility and practice social distancing, wash our hands frequently, and wear a mask went in the community. cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to stop the spread of this virus. wearing a mask prevents an infected person from spreading covid-19 to others and is the best protection we have and it is better when we all are wearing masks. we are protecting our families in our community. the cdc did a very interesting study which showed the impact of wearing masks and dr. redfield and i talked about that and it reinforces the importance not only of all of us wearing masks by the executive orders that we have requiring wearing masks in business settings. 170 test now more than
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sites statewide and overall testing throughout the state has increased extraordinarily since we first met a number of months ago. we are collecting more than 14,000 specimens per day and i am grateful to the public staff, health staff who have been working statewide long hours, often seven days per week in the heat in full ppe. they have been doing this for months. they are committed to their communities and helping us stop the spread of this virus. we acknowledge we do need more testing. we are working to expedite it and improve our testing system but at the same time, we also recognize that the capacity needs to be improved. many of the commercial labs are not returning tests in a timely way. it takes as long as two weeks or longer to get test back.
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that delay is unacceptable for the individual infected and for us to do the prevention and interventions we need to do to protect the community as a whole. i have spoken to the governor about this and he shares my concern and we are working not only to increase testing capacity, but to bring on an additional lab to improve turnaround time. i have talked to you several times about contact tracing. we have really ramped up those efforts statewide. we have close to 1300 contact tracers currently on board and we are going to bring on additional for a total of 2000 contact tracers in the next several weeks to reflect the needs of increased capacity as we have increased cases. we have interviewed more than 40,000 individuals with covid-19 and have identified over 86,200
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contacts and we will continue to do that as we continue to see cases. we need the support of the community to make contact tracing successful and to stop the spread of covid. please remind everybody when you get that call from the ph, -- dph, answer the call, work with us to make our contact tracing successful and our efforts to stop the spread improved. but most of all, please social distancing and wear a mask. those are the things that we can do to stop the spread at this time. thank you for your support. >> good morning. i and the director of the
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georgia emergency management of homeland security agency. we continue to work with our vendors, state partners, private partners and volunteer organizations to provide the necessary resources for georgia's response to the pandemic. the state of emergency has been ongoing for 125 days. it is the longest emergency activation in the state in memory. -- welivery operations recently established a partnership with ups to ship ppe directly to customers. while averaging there distribution networks, we can distribute supply faster and free up personnel to prepare georgia for any other emergencies. this is especially important as hurricane season began in june. ups has delivered three mailing system terminals to the
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department of public health warehouse and trained state employees to operate the systems. during this transition period approximately 850 packages of ppe, testing materials, and decontamination fathers were rs wereuted -- fogge distributed. local governments and critical infrastructure partners request resources through our portal. to date the state has processed 26,470 resource request. 80% of those are related to ppe and we have delivered ppe to over 2700 entities in georgia. to put that number in perspective, during hurricane 1051el we processed
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resource requests. as part of completing these requests, georgia has 7.9ributed approximately million masks, 9.3 million surgical masks, 2.7 million gloves, 24 million 485,000 overall suits, 1.3 million face shields, and 172 ventilators. to keep doors moving, we are -- to keeprequests georgia moving forward. face masks were delivered to transportation, energy, telecommunication, government, water, wastewater, and food processing sectors throughout the state. over one million cloth masks were provided to over 40 counties for public distribution
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in hotspots. this brings the total to more than 3.1 million cloth face masks to protect the citizens of georgia. thermometers10,000 were distributed to 16 local emergency management agencies that were identified by public health as having the greatest need. we continue to support the georgia department of education and their efforts to help safely reopen schools. we have adi pour needed the distribution of 2 million cloth --ks and 3000 infrared wrong thermometers. a second distribution will include 100,000 masks for deaf and hard of hearing students and teachers. million youth sized off masks. disposable masks.
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stations,d sanitizing 290,000 gallons of sanitizing 62,400 packs of sanitizing shields, and face 15,000 isolation gowns. procuringn, we are s to decontamination fogger be just tribute it to the schools in addition to the ppe listed. to address the concern of medical bed space and in coordination with the governor, we have an 80 bed facility on standby and are in the process 120 beding up a facility at the georgia world congress center. each facility will be ready to receive patients. we have four temporary medical hospital,ed at putney
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floyd medical center, the medical center in megan and the -- in macon. these provide additional 88 medical beds to supplement hospital capacity. making all of this happen has required incredible effort on the part of all of our employees and partners. i wanted to take a moment to acknowledge there countless hours and hard work spent working to keep our citizens safe and we remain focused and we recognize that what we do daily affects the safety and the lives of our citizens and with that, i will turn the podium over to commissioner frank berry with the department of community health. >> good morning.
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before i get started, i want to thank the frontline workers helping us battle this illness. we appreciate their service to the state of georgia. i'm here to talk about staff augmentation for nursing homes, hospitals and state hospitals through the department of behavioral health and developmental abilities. we have 15 hospitals statewide with a total of 417 healthcare providers. we partnered with healthcare workforce logistics, otherwise known as jackson healthcare to help staff these hospitals. nursing home facilities -- we have 54 facilities statewide 302 a total number of healthcare providers. of the five hospitals i mentioned, 251 healthcare providers are providing care on those facilities. we also have one community living home in the southwestern
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part of the state where we are providing staff as well for a total statewide number of 970 healthcare providers. the second-biggest issue we were challenged with was in nursing home facilities related to surveying work. cms required we complete 358 surveys by july 31 for focused infectious disease control. 358, 291 have been completed with 67 remaining. we should be on target to meet that july 31 deadline. we have partnered with two companies to assist us so with the healthcare facilities, along with cms support, along with those two companies, we will meet that deadline. component that we did to help with nursing homes is 257 nursing homes are
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participating in the temporary nurse aide program, an initiative where we partnered with cms to provide online training so that we could get more staff involved in supporting the residents that live in those nursing homes. that has been a significant success so far and have -- as people have gone out with the illness, we have been able to replenish staff. i will be happy to answer any questions at the end and thank you for your time. >> good morning. i am the general for the georgia national guard. the georgia national guard partners with the georgia emergency management agency, the department of public health, the department of community health and other student execute the governor's intention to keep citizens safe. 2400ve done more than
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infection control missions in georgia, most of which were in long-term care facilities. we support the department of public health with respect to sample collection at their collection sites. we provide mobile sample collection capability as needed by dr. toomey. we work at food banks across georgia where we supported the movement of more than 89.5 million pounds of food and 41.1 million meals. detailedue to do contingency planning to make sure that your national guard is never late to need. it is our honor to serve our governor, this great team and our citizens at this critical time in our fight to defeat covid-19. thank you very much. >> good morning, everyone.
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i am the state school superintendent of georgia. i want to thank the governor and for the collaboration that has taken place since the beginning of the pandemic. i want to thank two members that have worked behind the scenes with my staff. they have done a wonderful job in maintaining contact with us so that we could be on the same page throughout this endeavor. as we look at starting back to school, needless to say, this is probably the most challenging back-to-school time we have ever seen. the decisions all of us and our districts are having to make are not easy. there is no obvious label that wecan follow, no guidelines can look at and probably no historical reference that we can pull from to say this is what we are doing is the best and right thing.
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we are doing the best that we possibly can at this time. what is right for our students and our teachers. agree that weould want our schools and students to be physically back in school. that is the best place for them to learn. there is no doubt when you talk with everyone, this is the ideal situation. but we also know that relationships are better formed in person once they are in school as well. that being said, the safety of our students and our staff will continue to take precedent in our decision-making and that is something we will never let our guard down whether we are in the presence of covid-19 or any other thing that we face. the department of education in collaboration with the problem of public health has released guided as far as restarting schools -- has released guidance.
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we have also released support documents to further support the district as they plan for reopening. these documents played out foundational guidance -- layout guidance and face to face instruction, a mix of face to face and distance instruction. this information is available on the website and you can click on georgia's path to recovery for all information. all of the documentation that you have or need, you can find on that website that is constantly updated. we have districts that are opting to open with a distance model only, but most are planning to begin the year with a mix of face to face and distance instruction. we acknowledge the decision-making that has taken place. it is the goal of the department of education and whatever method of instructional method that is
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out there that we are going to support our districts and ensure they are successful as we move throughout this year. what we may find is this might be fluid but the plan we have developed and the guidance we have developed is flexible and able to adjust. to support our districts, we have initiated the following. we have received waivers from the department of agriculture to meet the nutritional needs of students during the summer and as we continue to make adjustments to do so with the school year depending on the instructional model. dr. dobson has done a wonderful job and i want to thank secretary perdue for his work and support of our nutritional program. to date we have probably delivered over 30 million meals throughout the state to our families and students. to aceived a waiver
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minister high-stakes testing as we closed out the previous school year. in concert with governor kemp, we have sent a waiver west to the u.s. department of education seeking to eliminate high-stakes testing for the upcoming school year. at this point we have many things to focus on besides high-stakes testing. we need to make sure our families are safe and secure in our students and staff, letting them adjust and taking something off their plate that we can deal with later in a more appropriate manner. we encourage washington to accept this waiver. we are introducing a non-high-stakes form of assessment and this will be made available to all districts so that they can support learning throughout the school year. we have partnered with the governor's office of student achievement. i want to thank the georgia foundation of public education for that and the private sector to provide grants and equipment
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school districts to enhance connectivity. we have allocated $3 million of the cares act fund to purchase 3000 wi-fi transmitters for the school districts. 135,000timated that students will receive connectivity through this effort. i want to think the board of education chairman and the members as they moved to increase virtual capability to provide online classes for students throughout the state. mentioned thedy things they have done and i appreciate that partnership in securing masks, annotations stations -- sanitation , and thermometers that would be used to screen people as necessary. people are asking, what does the first day of school look like. i have been involved with
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education and i have opened up schools 22 times in my career. the first day of school will be the first day of school. you can expect hiccups. you can expect challenges. but i guarantee you your kids will be safe, your teachers will be safe, it is a little bit enhanced because of covid-19 and a lot of the things we will be looking at will be new. transportation, meals, student drop-off and pickup, moving from class to class -- i do ask that everyone please make sure you communicate with your school district. school districts, take sure you are communicating with your parents, making sure they know what that first day looks like when it comes to enrolling students at that time. we have to be prepared and we have to communicate. but i am sure we will be successful in having a great school year in georgia. our districts have done a wonderful job in preparing. we have done a great job in putting out guidance.
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we are working as a team throughout the state and we are going to beat covid-19 and we are going to do so in a manner that is fitting for the state of georgia. i would like to bring to the adium, an individual who is strong supporter of public education and a great partner in all things and has never hesitated to meet a request that has come from the department of education, and that is our governor, esther brian kemp -- mr. brian kemp. gov. kemp: good morning, everyone. i want to thank everybody for being with us and i want to start by thanking dr. toomey, commissioner barry and superintendent woods for their strong leadership during the pandemic. andd want to take a moment thank your teens. i know we don't do that enough, but they have been grinding away
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every day and for those of you watching, thanks for all that you are doing. these continue to be challenging times in our state and country ckd the recent uptake -- upti of covid-19 cases is coast-to-coast. this virus is far from over. sincee come a long way the pandemic began, but we have incredible challenges in front of us. over the last several weeks we have seen a rise in cases, a rise in hospitalizations, and a rise in the percentage of georgians testing positive for covid-19. hotspots have been popping up at churches, manufacturing plants and long-term care facilities. we are literally tracking this data hourly. wele much has changed, remain laser focused on protecting the lives and livelihoods of all georgians.
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early in this pandemic we worked closely with hospital administrators to enhance surge capacity. we built a hospital within the georgia world congress center to free up beds based and as homer was talking about, we have delivered mobile units to targeted regions. we have identified facilities that could flex as patient populations increased. as hospitalizations rise, we are rolling out our strategic plan that we had in place for a long time to ensure that applied meets demand. -- supply meets demand. we enacted the georgia world congress center that will act as a step down unit for area hospitals. we work with members of the white house coronavirus task force to plan for future needs. two weeks ago we were honored to host u.s. surgeon general jerome adams and i spoke with admiral
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giroir about testing capacity and supplies. yesterday i met with dr. birx and cdc director dr. robert redfield to discuss school preparedness as we headed to the fall -- head into the fall. thater this week announced piedmont, atlanta will have 62 beds in the markets tower. i want to thank the team at piedmont as well as the vision of atlanta philanthropists for their forward thinking in planning this tower over five years ago. we will continue to add beds where needed. because of patient profile and options available, hospital stays are shorter than they were when he first started. we are confident in our plan which provides the best possible care without bankrupting our hospitals. rest assured, safeguarding surge
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capacity means a top priority of my administration. -- remains a top priority. we have witnessed record demand for testing as dr. toomey mentioned. while georgia is reporting nearly 20,000 tests every day, we know more is needed. 172 state-runhan testing sites open and we will continue to partner with local and private entities to expand access in targeted communities. this was another area we discussed yesterday with dr. birx and dr. redfield and how the feds and the state can work together on this issue. national labs have become backlogged causing many georgians to wait days if not, weeks for results. this is simply unacceptable and georgians deserve better. we will announce a new regional partner who will expand capacity adding 10,000 more tests per day
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and providing faster results. as i have said from the beginning, accessible and timely testing are key to winning the war against covid-19. we will continue to do whatever it takes to shake up the status quo and fix this pressing issue. as georgia continues to boost testing, add hospital beds, deliver ppe and provide medical staffing, i am asking georgians to do their part. after all, it is the community that defeats this virus, not the government. this has been a difficult battle for all of us. we have shelter-in-place, we have had to distance ourselves from loved ones and everyone has had to make incredible sacrifices along the way. we must reaffirm our commitment to flattening. toneed younger georgians recognize the importance of following public health
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guidance, to realize that their exposure could have serious consequences on their loved ones. we must all do our part to stop the spread. today i am encouraging all georgians to do four things for four weeks. public ora mask in when you cannot distance yourself inside. two, practice physical distancing. stay six feet from those you don't live with. three, continue to wash your hands throughout the day with warm soap and hot water. four, follow the executive order and heed the guidance provided by public officials. actions these effective on a daily basis, we will make progress in the fight against covid-19. ones, protect our loved we can revive our economy, and we can continue to take measured steps forward. i know that many well-informed
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georgians want a mask mandate. while we all agree that wearing a mask is effective, i am confident that georgians not need a mandate to do the right thing. i know that georgians can rise to this challenge, and they will. i know that georgians will do their part to defeat this deadly virus. last week on a call with mayors and commissioners, i issued a charge to local leaders and i will do it today. instead of issuing mandate that are confusing and unenforceable, i am asking local leaders to enforce the current executive order, enforce the rules that we have put in place to keep employees and customers safe. enforce the provisions that ensure folks are staying six feet apart in large gatherings. enforce measures to protect the medically fragile and use your bully pulpit, your social media
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and your connections with the local media to help build support for wearing a mask. for our local chambers of and otherrotary clubs organizations, please help us with this call. encourage those you represent and urge those you serve to double down and mask up. this pandemic has threatened the health and well-being of our friends and neighbors, creating economic hardships that we have not seen like this in a very long time. businesses are literally on the brink of bankruptcy. thousands have filed for unemployment and many are left wondering how they will put food on the table. haveke matters worse, some decided to play politics by exploiting these difficult emotional moments for political gain. yesterday we filed a lawsuit against atlanta on behalf of
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business owners, their employees, and hard-working georgians throughout the region who continued to struggle to make ends meet. men and women have seen their paychecks disappear. fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers are barely hanging on. mayor bottoms's mandate cannot be enforced. her decision to shutter businesses and undermine economic growth is devastating. atlanta businesses are hurting. violent crime is up and families are worried. just like sending in the national guard to protect those living in arch capital city from crime and violence, i refused to sit back -- i refuse to sit back and watch these disastrous policies threaten the lives of our citizens. we will fight reckless actions and put people over pandemic politics. i will leave you with this -- we all know it has been an incredibly tough year and that
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is an understatement. this crisis has threatened our health and well-being, undermined our economic justice we there is have seen with our own eyes must be fixed, violence that must be quelled. when i travel the state, i hear the stories of pain-and-suffering. i still sense optimism and i know that all hope is not lost. i am confident that we are going to weather the storm and we will emerge better for it. georgianith that every will do their part. i am confident that we are stronger now than we have ever been and we cannot let politics divide us. i know that our best days are not far away and i also know that we live in the greatest state in the country in these united states. we can overcome obstacles ahead of us.
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be strong and courageous, as the scripture tells us. hunker down and keep chugging. thank you very much and we will open it up for questions for any of us that are here this morning. >> good morning, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. my question to you is obviously there have been a lot of things within the past 24 hours. you said you do not agree with a mask mandate and making masks mandatory but there are lots of pros and cons so my question is what are the cons that you see into making masks mandatory and how is making masks mandatory hurting people? i don't believe georgians need a mandate to do the right thing. dr. toomey and i have been on the road for the last two weeks encouraging georgians to wear a mask and they cannot social distance when they go out in public. i have also been telling local
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officials that we have orders that have been on the books for months that works before, they will work now. we just need to enforce them. this is not about masks. we all agree is good to wear a mask the right situation. this is about protecting the livelihoods of our citizens. i was told this morning that california's unemployment rate is 17.5%. ours is 7.5%. you can check my numbers to mixer it is right but i am sure it is in that ballpark. that is because we are fighting two battles. we continue to fight with this whole team to protect the lives of our citizens. we have done that before. albany, georgia is a great example. that community embraced the guidance without mandates and flattened the curve. they did what i'm
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asking people to do now. we sent masks down there weeks ago for them to hand out to their citizens. we need our citizens to be the solution to the problem we are facing right now and they have my commitment that i will stand every single day to make sure that we have the resources we need in our state from hospitalizations, ppe, and other things to make that happen. >> good morning, governor. thank you for answering our questions today. you said you thought mayor bottoms was playing politics with her mandate. are you the one playing politics and what does the lawsuit say about your priorities given the rise in the covid numbers? beenkemp: my priority has clear for weeks now. if you look back at what happened and when, some are
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accusing us that we reopened too fast. we were open for two months before the latest rise. if you look at when it started, there are several reasons for that. number one was the demonstrations. number two, because of the stations, that sent a message to people that it is all right to get out again, we can let our guard down, we have this thing beat and i think we are all guilty of that. my focus during that time was to keep our city from getting burned down and protect the protesters that were protesting peacefully and we worked with those groups to do that. the lives andout livelihoods of georgians. when you have decisions that literally take away someone's ability not only to operate and create confusion, but also to have them calling us saying we
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have food in the freezer, we have food in the coolers and if we shut down, that money is all gone. that is not the right way to handle this. guidanceng forward on as i have from dr. toomey and our whole team. this is literally in conversations daily and weekly with hospital ceos, the business community, local elected officials. we can argue about a mandate for a mask, all the people arguing agree that people should wear masks. i have been doing that for weeks. dr. toomey and i have been on the road doing that for weeks. we have to protect livelihoods. i have been talking to the hospital ceos. they have been saying we cannot shut down again. we cannot survive what we went through before, not doing elective surgeries. it is bad for their financial stability and it is also bad for all of those georgians out there who have put off procedures and
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screenings for weeks and months before -- because they were scared to go out. we know more now than we did. afraid to get a medical procedure at a hospital. it is probably one of the safest people -- places you can go. i would urge them to continue to do that. >> good morning my thank you for taking questions. i am hoping to get your response to mayor bottoms's tweet regarding that perhaps the taxpayer dollars would be better spent on contact tracing and testing rather than legal fees. also in terms of the other cities with mask mandates, if they continue to defy your executive order, will you also sue those cities? are kemp: mask mandates unenforceable. people should be thinking about the livelihoods of those businesses, those hard-working georgians in those businesses, they are paying the taxes that
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we are using to respond to this as well as cares act funding that we have gotten from the federal government which we very appreciate their relationship in helping us with the response. if we shut our economy down -- i remember the press writing at the start of the session after the suspension about how devastating the budget cuts were going to be. imagine if we do that again what they will be like. we are already in a tough position for our state agencies, schools and universities. we have got to balance both of those things. we cannot be afraid of this virus. to be smart and to be scared of it, that is a good thing so you should wear your mask. we also have to learn to continue to operate. there are many businesses that have been able to do that for months now and have not had problems. that is why we are working so closely with dr. birx, dr.
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toomey, and dr. redfield on school reopening as well as our local superintendents and educational leaders. governor, good morning. a short while ago, mayor bottoms spoke about the research saying that the governor and the team are not using data from the cdc and emory and only relying with state run university. how do you respond to the mayor's criticism of not using science from those institutions? a falsep: i think it is statement to say i am not using science. there is a lot of data out there. we have a great director in the department of health, dr. toomey , who is a 40 year epidemiologist. she has worked on things like this and things that are very much like it for over 40 years. she has worked with dr. birx
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before. she has a great relationship and has worked with dr. redfield. to say something like that, i would not agree. people can disagree. we had earlier -- we had orders early on that officials disagreed on. the mask situation is another one. we have some that want you to mandate it and saying thank you for doing that. we are working toward resolutions to do that. there are a lot of ways to tackle this problem. we agree that people should wear masks. but when you have those same politicians that start deploying actions that want to shut our economy down and destroy our local communities and businesses, i am not going to stand for that. we have to fight two battles for the lives and livelihoods of our citizens. good morning. thank you for taking our questions. you mentioned georgians do not
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need a mandate to do the right thing. looking around different places, there are still people who, despite your encouragement are choosing not to wear a mask. is there a point at which you will go from encouragement to enforcement, mandating, one week -- twow, two weeks now weeks from now, are you open to changing your mind? gov. kemp: i can tell you what i have told people for months. i continued to listen to the guidance from dr. toomey and her team every single day like we have done for months now. i'm sure you are aware that there are people that do not follow the speed limit. we have people that do not follow government laws and mandates. but when you have existing executive orders that have been on the books for weeks and months now that the local elected officials asked me for
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enforcement powers early on so they can enforce when they were so worried about this, they now have not been doing that. so to add another mandate that is not going to be enforced in communities that have not enforced other orders, in my opinion, is a failed policy. we should not have to ask people to do the right thing. we are asking them again for four weeks, wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands and follow the guidance that dr. toomey and her team have given me to put out for months now. it worked before. it worked in albany, georgia. nobody really followed albany. we were working with them 24/7 -- literally flying ppe down there, personnel and supplies. homerl homework and -- can speak to that as well.
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they were as bad a spot as anywhere in the country. new york, new jersey, wherever. nobody is even talking about a mandate there. i talked to the chairman of the commission down there and i asked him, do you want me to take further action just regarding albany and the cobb county. and he said no, we can tackle this at the local level and they did a great job. >> at least strengthen the message that you are already sending. gov. kemp: what kind of message does it send that you have mandates that people are not enforcing? it sends the message that the mandate does not mean anything. the government is not going to be the answer to all people's problems. i have great concern about our young people and other people getting so reliant on the government that we lose what the basis of this country was founded on and that is freedom and liberty and opportunity for
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anyone. everybody has that liberty to do the right thing and i'm asking them to do it and to wear a mask. even before the whole mask issue came up, you know what works better than anything? better than the mask? social distancing and don't put yourself in the position where you can spread the virus. >> governor kemp, good afternoon. haley may send. mason.y are you aware that the mayor says business owners asked her for a mask mandate and also in the executive order it says that innocent policies are not abiding by the executive order which would limit social gatherings to 50 people. it also called for bars and clubs to be open. i am asking you who is to enforce that 50 person limit in a place like a bar or a club
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where it is counterintuitive to socially distance? who is responsible for that? certified officer in georgia has the authority to do that. the police department, the sheriff department, all of the state officers. we have actually responded to calls early on about restaurants when we first started back open and they did not adhere to the social distancing rules and we sent the state patrol out there, we worked with local officials on those things when we had some churches that were open early on that were not following the guidelines. nobody wants to do all of that. we want people to comply with the orders. the mayor can instruct the police department. if she thinks there was a problem in bars in atlanta, our bars are under a ready 5% occupancy capacity. we have not moved that -- 35% capacity. we believe with that occupancy
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level and the other regulations restaurantsbars and -- does it make sense to go to an outdoor bar if you can? it does to me. we also know that we have had 400 and 500 people in the middle of the streets and downtown atlanta with people doing doughnuts with cars, and that is way over the 50 person gathering ban and nobly bother to respond to that. i think we have to be consistent with what we are doing. we are continuing to work with locals on enforcement to help them. i would ask them to do that. i don't think it's gonna be as hard as some think they will. but we've had local law enforcement that has said we don't have enough manpower to enforce a mask mandate. i don't think we need to do that, in my opinion. i know there are people that disagree with me on that and that is fine.
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but we know that the regulations we've had have worked. if we enforce those. patrole from the state and those working beaches and state parks, we did not write many citations, we wrote several and we close some businesses down because they did not listen to us and they were combative, but most people wanted to make sure they knew how to follow the rules and it did that. we need to double down on that because it has worked before and it will work again. thank you. morning, governor. a report from the center for public integrity obtained a document from the white house coronavirus task force assaying georgia is one of 18 states and the red zone and has recommendations that georgia is doing like protecting nursing home residents and investigating outbreaks, but others it it is not. the task force recommends georgia allow local jurisdictions to have stricter
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aasures and also recommends statewide mask mandate. have you seen this report and why is georgia not following the white house coronavirus task force recommendation? gov. kemp: i have not seen the report. i agree that people need to wear a mask. i don't think it takes a mandate for people to do the right thing. reporter: good morning, governor. six school district's and georgia have now said they are going to all remote instruction to start the year. are you ok with that? gov. kemp: i think kids need to be in the classroom. i think there is a safe way to do that. and dr.r. birx redfield, some educational folks from around the state we and working with at the local level, dr. toomey and our team yesterday had an in-depth conversation with that. had some really
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good points to make and i think dr. birx is going to be working on getting us that information we talked about. look, i understand the concern for parents and the concern from teachers. i am very appreciative that literally all of those folks, including our kids, have been through people missing graduations and having their whole world turned upside down. they don't know what to think about all of this. there are bad outcomes of not having kids in classes from a nutrition standpoint. ,hild abuse, human trafficking other things that go on. i am a believer that kids need to be in the classroom. we are working with the schools to do that, and we are working with them to make sure their communities and parents and teachers are comfortable with that. that is something we will continue to work with the task force on, but also local leaders as well.
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the local leader yesterday had some good ideas about how we message that, and he told me his and 88% of theey kids want to come back, the kids and the parents. i think there's a lot of support out there to do that, i also know that when the newspapers and the media only write about one side of the story and they are not writing about the lack of risk -- everybody has risk. people working in grocery stores through all of this, people in critical infrastructure jobs go to work everyday with risk. law enforcement, the atlanta police department, state patrol, protectingard, peaceful demonstrators and going after those that were disrupt the -- disruptive, they face risks every day from the coronavirus. we have to be smart about how we do this. i think the guidelines dr. toomey and her team have been working on to work with the state school board and local
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schools is going to be helpful for that. they have my commitment that we will continue to do that. reporter: do you anticipate or executive action to encourage in person instruction? gov. kemp: i haven't really thought about that. i think our schools are trying to do the right thing and it is my hope we will get kids back in the classroom. i personally think once kids start going back -- and look, it will not be easy, there will be challenges, but every new school year has a challenge. we will have cases that breakout in schools either with personnel or perhaps like you do with a stomach bug or flu or something else. our schools no how to handle those situations. dr. toomey has been working with them on the protocols where you don't have to shut the whole school down. as dr. redfield talked about yesterday, are very low. for those that are medically
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fragile, teachers or administrators, i think there are ways the school district's can use them either with virtual learning, or planning and other things to make it work. we continue to work with them on that. i have a question for dr. toomey. gov. kemp: great, i need a drink of water. reporter: i am wondering, you and governor kemp set the current level of testing is unacceptable. it seems to be something we can agree on. that health officials say effectively keeps them from contact tracing. why has testing failed us? we understand private labs are backed up, but other than that, why has this -- it seems like a basic public health tool has not been working. it seems like other places have figured this out. why haven't we? dr. toomey: i don't think other
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places have done better. the amount of testing here and virtually every other state has gone up. the demand has gone up and we need to increase capacity. we are working very closely with our health directors. we are working as a team across , and as a team we are looking at how we can make our test sites more efficient. to increase the throughput of our test sites, even though some have four lanes of cars, we need to do better. we have access to plenty of test materials and kits, so it is not a lack of access to swabs, it is just having enough spaces available for appointments. that's why we are trying to improve efficiency and even get additional partners. group that has
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picked up testing here in atlanta as well as elsewhere, and they are helping with additional testing. we are trying to be as creative as we can not just here, but in many states. i talked to my fellow health officers and they are seeing challenges. there is increased demand like we've never had before. it is doing all of those things and working smart and ensuring that we have the most efficient test sites we can. take twothose tests weeks to come back or longer, it is not our fault, but we have to deal with the consequences. as i have said many times, it is unacceptable. we cannot do covid prevention with that kind of turnaround time. we are working hard to get additional testing capacity to improve that. reporter: is there something the state can do to influence private labs in turnaround time? we are voting with
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our feet and getting new labs. i think there is a record should that there is a problem. pouringhe states are test in and they are backed up. our own public health lab at capacity can do 3000 test per day but it was not built for this kind of throughput where we are looking at 10,000 or more daily at some of these commercial labs. thank you. this is also for dr. toomey. said it is pretty much inevitable there will be cases at schools. can you provide some clarity -- when a child tests positive, who should quarantine? mates, who will enforce that? dr. toomey: i'm really proud of the guidelines we've developed
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with school nurses, epidemiologists in partnership with the apartment of education. i'm not going to say we will do this or that, but really every situation is unique. it will depend on the classroom situation, how many people may have been exposed, what is the size of the classroom, all of the factors that contribute to spread. we will take it on a case-by-case basis, and we will be working together in partnership with the state and local public health officers. they have been reviewing these guidelines. they are online, as the superintendent said. we will make those decisions based on the situations in every school. every situation will be different. when we first started with this in march, this was new to us. schools --any calls
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with schools, we are learning as we go. this will be the first school year we have been dealt with it like this. we have to work together and learn from this, but really be very careful and follow what i believe are very careful guidelines that are consistent with cdc guidelines and other guidelines such as the academy of pediatrics. but the flu season comes every year. schools make decisions. at some point down the road, i think covid will be as routine for us in schools as flu is every year. right now, we are following guidelines closely and intend to work one-on-one with every school and not just have a blanket decision-making process. reporter: will schools have the authority to mandate that students stay home for 14 days if exposed? the kemp: -- dr. toomey:
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guidelines if a child is exposed, the quarantine is required like any other situation. how many people are exposed is a determination made by the epidemiologist working closely with schools. not everybody in the classroom is considered to be exposed. is a close contact for 15 minutes or longer. that is not the case. schools are trying to distance teachers to minimize guestse, and looking at as well. they are trying to be creative in using things like alternative rooms like the gym and other large facilities within the school building to be able to spread students out. have the students stay in a classroom as a cohort and have
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teachers rotate rather than risk exposure. closely butng very we don't have a one size fits all approach other than the mandate that when there is known isbe a case or cluster, it reported to us so we can work together with the school. reporter: thank you. >> governor, you are back up. reporter: at least two dozen states have imposed mask requirements. at least republican led states. other governors have allowed locals to do their own restrictions. you say you are worried about the economic impact of the restrictions but where does the fear come from it so many other states, more than half in the nation, have adopted the restrictions? gov. kemp: a good example of that is, i think, what the mayor was doing the other day with shutting businesses down.
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sending that messages to people creates economic hardship and there is no reason to do that right now. dr. toomey has not said we need to do that. you have the mayor of savannah that has put out messaging saying businesses, he will require businesses to enforce the mask mandate. businesses don't have time. they are barely hanging on now, they cannot be the city police force. we are focused on two things, the lives and livelihoods of georgians. we can fight those battles. i personally don't believe we need a mask mandate to do that. i agree everyone should wear a mask and i am urging them to do that, i am also urging them to do the other things we have had for months now, that nobody is enforcing at the local level, that worked before. social distancing, enforce the sure gathering ban, make businesses are enforcing the
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regulations that worked in the past and will work in the future. arerter: the mayor -- you suing the city of atlanta -- the mayor says her phase one guidelines are suggested and not mandatory. gov. kemp: that's not what she said when she put those out. we literally have the restaurant association freaking out because they thought they were going to have to close that night. that sends a terrible message to people. i amis one reason continuing to take the position -- this is nothing new, an executive order has been in there for months that the locals cannot do anything more or less, but they have the power to enforce existing guidelines, which have worked in the past and will work now people enforce them and follow them. that's what i am asking all georgians to do and i have confidence they will. i have traveled quite a bit the last couple of weeks around the
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state, i got my haircut for five times back up, i have been to restaurants, i have ridden through coastal communities, been to other events, and it is a lot different with people wearing a mask now than it was two or three weeks ago. i believe that will continue to be the case. as i have told people on the road, if you want to help your local hospital out, there a mask. if you want to help your local businesses out, to us not going back to where we were, complete devastation, wear a mask or socially distance yourself. we are asking people to do this for four weeks, let's flatten the curve again. it will give us the hope of having a college football season. that is something our young people -- one of the things i talked to dr. redfield and dr. birx yesterday, how do we message to the young people? if you have a strong social
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media platform and you are in that 16-35 age group, if you can use it to encourage people to do the right thing and follow the guidance, that would be very helpful for us. kids thought on, they were immune to the disease. that they would not be affected. thankfully most of them are not, it is not hard hitting on children even though we've had some fatalities, which is tragic. i believe they were with comorbidities. what they don't think about is infecting others. this is what i told our team well over a week ago, what else do we need to be doing in our long-term care facilities and our nursing homes to continue to work with them? we had a call yesterday with the association to make sure people are following the guidance and if anines because asymptomatic young person affects a coworker in a nursing home, that could be a deadly
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scenario. that is the severity of this. that's why frank's team is going out and doing these inspections. cms was on the call yesterday. we talked about that. that's why general cardin continues to do everything he can, not only doing the infectious disease cleanings but training personnel at those facilities how to do it themselves. also, our testing plan. that is something else we talked about yesterday, that the white house task force is working on, a testing platform and plan for long-term care facilities. i was very excited to hear about that. it will take some time to ramp that up but that will be awesome if we can get that done. reporter: thank you. reporter: the question is, is there a line in the sand, and ultimate running to georgians -- ultimate warning to georgians if
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they don't follow the recommendations and not enforcement of executive orders? is there an ultimate warning that we might have to go back to a shut down and at what went you look at this and say it is time? gov. kemp: i continue to keep my options open. continue daily talking to dr. toomey and her team on recommendations. i believe our citizens are adhering to what we've told him the last two weeks. i think the thing about the controversy and my position on fighting for lives and livelihoods of georgians is continuing to raise awareness and everyone agrees you should wear a mask in public. i would ask people who fundamentally don't agree with that, don't want to do it for whatever reason, just socially distance yourself from people. be smart about when you are shopping or going out in public and stay away from people so you
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don't infect them. that's why you wear the mask, to keep me from infecting someone else. for fourf we do that weeks, we will flatten the curve, stop the spread, and we will continue to methodically open things. if we don't do that, we will be in the same situation now in the fall and people will be going "man, it sucks we are not having college football season." that's what we are facing. dr. adams i thought made a great statement to people about their liberties. as you know, i feel strongly about that. he also said if you want to have liberties in the future, where now so we can get back to where we can have college football. you think about these high school kids. you had kids miss their senior year of soccer, football,
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cheerleading, graduations. i personally think that is terrible for our kids. we don't need that to happen again. we need them to follow the guidance like everybody else and we need our parents to stress that to them. if we do that, we will have better days ahead. i'm very optimistic about. thank you all very much. >> justice ruth bader ginsburg announced in a statement that she is receiving chemotherapy treatment for recurring cancer. she spent time in the hospital this week for a possible infection. she writes, "i will continue biweekly chemotherapy to keep my cancer at bay and am able to maintain an active daily routine. throughout, i have kept up with opinion writing and court work. i've often said i would remain a member of the court as long as i can do the job. i remain fully able to do that." you can read her full statement at u.s. attorney general william
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barr appears before the house judiciary committee general oversight hearing on the justice department on tuesday, july 28. watch live coverage on c-span. watch any time on, or listen on the go with the c-span radio app. >> vice president mike pence spoke about the economy and trade at an event in wisconsin. the vice president also touted the administration's response to the economic shutdown in response to the pandemic. >> ladies and gentlemen, the vice president of the united states, mike pence! [applause] ♪


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