Republican Brian Kemp could double Georgia’s COVID-19 fatalities by letting shelter-in-place expire: report
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (Facebook)

The Republican governor of Georgia is weighing whether to let a statewide lockdown expire as the state passes 1,000 COVID-19 fatalities.

"If Gov. Brian Kemp lets a shelter-at-home order expire on Thursday, the state’s death toll ultimately could double, one new model predicts. The model was produced jointly by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology," the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday.

"Kemp will have to weigh these conflicting analyses as he plans Georgia’s next steps to revive an economy wrecked by weeks of limited business activity. Already he has allowed restaurants to resume dine-in service and certain other businesses — such as hair and nail salons, gyms and tattoo parlors — to reopen under strict conditions to minimize the virus’ spread," the newspaper noted.

Public opinion appears to be against allowing the lockdown to expire.

"But a majority of Georgians surveyed by the University of Georgia think Kemp is moving too fast. The poll, released Tuesday, found that only 10% of Georgians opposed the statewide lockdown, while about 62% disapproved of Kemp’s initial steps to reopen businesses," the newspaper reported. "Since the poll was conducted, Georgia’s death toll from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, increased from about 900 to 1,036, as of Tuesday evening. Almost 25,000 Georgians have tested positive for the virus."

The The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that "Kemp has hinted that he is unlikely to extend the statewide lockdown for most Georgians past its scheduled expiration of 11:59 p.m."