Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp was widely criticized for his decision to end his state’s COVID-19 lockdown and reopen businesses.
But he is proven to be right.
As you can see in the Georgia Department of Public Health graph below, ending the lockdown did not lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases. On the contrary, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases actually plunged after the reopening on April 30, 2020.
And although the number of COVID-19 cases began climbing up again on May 11, the “second wave” did not reach the heights of the first, and quickly dropped to below the lowest point on April 30.
Georgia’s COVID-19 cases are confirmed by U.S. health secretary Alex Azar.
As reported by Reuters, Azar said on May 17, 2020 that authorities are not seeing spikes in coronavirus cases in places that are reopening, but are seeing increases in some areas that remain closed: “We are seeing that in places that are opening, we’re not seeing this spike in cases. We still see spikes in some areas that are in fact close to very localized situations.”
Azar also said there are serious health consequences to not reopening. (See DCG’s “Walnut Creek, CA: Doctors have seen more deaths by suicide during quarantine period than deaths from Wuhan virus“)
Kemp’s decision to end Georgia’s lockdown is supported by a new study by 12 scientists from the Cornell University, University of Rochester Medical Center, and Lancaster University, which found that social distancing did not reduce the number of daily confirmed COVID-19 cases, but “merely stabilized the spread of the disease.”
Even the UNICEF has changed its tune.
The Telegraph reports on May 13, 2020, that Dr. Stefan Peterson, chief of health at UNICEF, warned that lockdown can actually kill more than COVID-19. The risk of children dying from malaria, pneumonia or diarrhoea in developing countries is spiralling and “far outweighs any threat presented by the coronavirus”.
Peterson said: “Indiscriminate lockdown measures do not have an optimal effect on the virus. If you’re asking families to stay at home in one room in a slum, without food or water, that won’t limit virus transmission. I’m concerned that lockdown measures have been copied between countries for lack of knowing what to do, rarely with any contextualisation for the local situation. One size fits no one. The objective is to slow the virus, not to lockdown people. We need to lift our eyes and look at the total picture of public health.”
Finally, there’s the media-lionized health guru Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the CDC.
Although Fauci on April 17, 2020, declared that the lockdown could last as long as 16 months due to the need for a coronavirus vaccine, a month later on May 22, the same Fauci now says that keeping the country locked down for too long may cause “irreparable damage.” He told CNBC:
“We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences including consequences for health. And it’s for that reason why the guidelines are being put forth so that the states and the cities can start to reenter and reopen.”