Brian Kemp

GLOBAL DETENTION PROJECT

Monday on Political Rewind, Fulton County Jail reported over a dozen COVID-19 cases in the span of a week, worrying public health officials and highlighting the risks faced by detention facilities across the state.

We were joined by Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson to discuss the unfolding situation and what steps his staff are taking to respond.


Gov. Brian Kemp on Twitter

Coastal leaders are pushing back after the governor ordered Georgia beaches reopened Friday night.


The governor’s order to stay at home through April 13 provides multiple exceptions for essential services such as those provided by Macon-Bibb County.

Sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, Macon Water Authority workers and others keep reporting for duty while some colleagues are able to work from home or alter their schedules.

For those who cannot telecommute, special precautions are made.

Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

Friday on Political Rewind, we were joined by senior researcher and professor of Emory University Dr. Carlos del Rio for an in-depth conversation on the unfolding stories surrounding coronavirus public health.

We discussed the use of masks by the public and the governor's recently announced shelter-in-place order.


Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

Elected officials at the county and municipal levels are struggling to find ways to respond to an unfolding public health crisis. Where many other states have issued statewide lockdowns, Gov. Brian Kemp has made it clear he wants to allow local leaders to make decisions on this kind of policy for themselves.


Stephen Fowler / GPB News

Gov. Brian Kemp is ordering “medically fragile” residents to stay at home while making everyone else keep their distance, but concerns about coronavirus has the city of Atlanta and others taking stronger action.

As of 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, there are 1,097 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in more than half of Georgia’s 159 counties with 38 reported deaths. About 5,500 tests have been performed by state and commercial labs. The state also says 361 people are hospitalized, a newly-reported measure of the virus' severity.

Here is the latest coronavirus news from Georgia for Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Paul Sableman / Wikimedia Commons

Several cities and counties in Georgia have put curfews in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

Near Atlanta, those cities include Tucker, College Park and South Fulton.

The city of Milledgeville, as well as Sumter, Baldwin, and Laurens counties have also enacted curfews, which closes establishments and limits travel in the evening, except for people working, getting supplies or seeking medical aid.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Georgia has ordered thousands of pieces of life-saving medical equipment and is expanding state testing as officials continue to urge residents to stay home and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

In a digital briefing with reporters Tuesday, Gov. Brian Kemp warned of potential strains on Georgia’s health care system, including medical supply shortages.

Gov. Brian Kemp declares public health emergency at a press conference on March 14.
GPB News

The declaration is the first in Georgia history and comes after the largest increase of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period to date. Cases doubled overnight, Gov. Brian Kemp said Saturday.

The number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus has risen to 66, with one death. Stay up to date with the latest numbers here.

A person checks their temperature.
Polina Tankilevitch

Gov. Brian Kemp has announced the construction of a second quarantine space for patients who test positive for COVID-19 and are unable self-isolate.

The facility will be located at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center Campus in Monroe County and will be able to accommodate 20 temporary housing units, according to a press release from the governor's office.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Gov. Brian Kemp has declared Georgia will be under a state of public health emergency to aid in combatting coronavirus, effective Saturday, March, 14.

The unprecedented action will require a special session of the Georgia General Assembly to ratify the action Monday morning, and comes following President Trump's declaration of a national emergency.

GPB News

On Thursday afternoon's Special Edition of Political Rewind, we spoke about the governor's response to coronavirus in Georgia. How is the state responding and what do state legislature think of the measures taken so far?

How will this impact the legislature on this busy crossover day? We'll have our Lawmaker's team live on the show. 


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Gov. Brian Kemp said people who are older or who have chronic health issues should avoid large crowds while encouraging many state employees to work from home as the footprint of coronavirus spreads in Georgia.

Kemp said the message to combat COVID-19 is largely the same, like wash your hands and avoid large events if you’re sick.

But the newest guidance from the governor’s office and top health leaders is for those who have the highest risk of illness need to take higher precautions.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

Gov. Brian Kemp is asking the Georgia General Assembly to appropriate $100 million from the state’s rainy day fund to aid health officials and emergency responders working to combat coronavirus in the state.

In a letter sent to House and Senate appropriations leaders, Kemp said he was raising the state’s revenue by adding $100 million from the Revenue Shortfall Reserve (RSR) and subsequently requesting the amended fiscal year budget appropriate that $100 million into the governor’s emergency fund.


Grant Blankenship / GPB News

Tuesday on Political Rewind, there are primary elections in six states today, including Michigan where Sen. Bernie Sander’s campaign has rallied to try to stop former Vice President Joe Biden’s momentum.

If Biden wins big there and sweeps most of the delegates in the other states, what impact will that have on the importance of Georgia’s March 24 primary?


Stephen Fowler / GPB News

Updated March 10 at 8:30 a.m. 

A South Korean national who was screened for coronavirus at the Atlanta airport does not have COVID-19, Gov. Brian Kemp's office said Monday night, as state officials announced further preparations to minimize the impact of the illness. As of Tuesday morning, there were 6 cases confirmed by federal testing and at least 11 more presumptive positive cases awaiting confirmation.

Flanked by members of his coronavirus task force, the governor said the unidentified passenger was flagged by customs officials for displaying signs of the illness and was immediately transferred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quarantine unit inside the airport for further evaluation. That person was later transferred to a hospital. 

National Park Service

Officials are making plans to isolate and monitor COVID-19 patients in Morgan County.

Hard Labor Creek State Park is one of ten recreational parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in Georgia. An isolated section of the park — where emergency trailers and operations will be separated from the rest of the property — will be used for patients, Gov. Brian Kemp said Monday in a release.

Sakchai Lalit / AP

Monday on Political Rewind, Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta will soon take in more than 30 Georgians who have been quarantined on a cruise ship off the coast of California.

The passengers will be tested for the virus and kept in quarantine at Dobbins for at least 14 days.


The seemingly nonstop rain has led Gov. Brian Kemp to declare on Thursday a state of emergency in counties south of I-20.

Lake Lanier was 4 feet above full pool on Monday, and water levels in the past weeks have been the highest since the 1960s, GPB News previously reported. A flash flood watch remains in effect until 7 p.m.

The National Weather Service expected up to 6 inches of rain in parts of Middle Georgia this week.

GPB

Gov. Brian Kemp says while no new cases have been confirmed, Georgia’s Public Health Laboratory in Decatur is now able to test COVID-19 kits.

Sakchai Lalit / AP

Tuesday on Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp joined us at the beginning of our show to discuss the latest updates on the coronavirus in Georgia.

Afterward, the Democratic presidential primary stretches across the country today, as voters in 14 states participate in Super Tuesday.

On the eve of the voting, Joe Biden received a boost from three former opponents. Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke officially announced their endorsements of Biden Monday night.


Gov. Brian Kemp delivers remarks following his swearing in during the inaugrual ceremonies at Georgia Tech's McCamish Paviliion in Atlanta.
Stephen Fowler / GPB

The Georgia Attorney General’s office has closed an investigation into allegations that the Democratic Party of Georgia tried to breach the state’s voter registration system just days before the 2018 gubernatorial election, an explosive claim that heightened tensions over voting rights in the state.

In a memo dated Monday March 2, Attorney General Chris Carr's office said an inquiry from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found “no evidence of damage to the SOS network or computers, and no evidence of theft, damage, or loss of data.”

CDC

Just days after President Donald Trump announced his strategy for the nation’s response to the spreading coronavirus, Gov. Brian Kemp revealed he has assembled a statewide task force to manage preparations.

There have been no cases in Georgia of the novel coronavirus that started in China.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/treehouse1977/3319908047
Jim Champion / https://www.flickr.com/photos/treehouse1977/3319908047

Thursday on Political Rewind, rates of infant mortality in Georgia are a continuing concern. The issues facing some expecting mothers include lack of quality health care in rural areas, according to reporting out of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Our panel broke down the story.


DXR / Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday on Political Rewind, legislators in the Georgia House are set to vote on a mid-year budget rejecting many previously proposed cuts to health services, accountability courts and more.

What could this mean for the relationship between the governor and legislative leaders? 


House Appropriations Committee Chairman Terry England (R-Auburn)
GPB

A key House committee voted Tuesday to reject many of the steep cuts Gov. Brian Kemp had requested for the current budget year, capping off a hectic stretch of adjournment, committee hearings and line-by-line budget negotiations.

The House Appropriations Committee gaveled in at 7 a.m. to begin considering Kemp’s recommended changes to the current state budget, which the governor asked to be cut by roughly $200 million. Committee members voted unanimously to add back full, or at least partial funding, for many of their key priorities including money for rural health, behavioral health and criminal justice reform. 

John Amis / AP

Tuesday on Political Rewind, the legislature is back in session after a week-long break. They have been studying deep cuts Gov. Brian Kemp has proposed to the mid-year budget.

Republican House leaders want to restore funds for what they say are essential services, including state food safety inspectors.


Gov. Brian Kemp
John Amis / AP

Members of the Georgia House of Representatives are rejecting some midyear budget cuts proposed by Gov. Brian Kemp.

They say the Republican governor wanted to cut too deeply on some items.

Kemp is proposing more than $200 million in midyear reductions in state spending, citing a shortfall in state revenues. House subcommittees on Thursday recommended putting back more than $2.8 million of Kemp's proposed reductions. 

The full Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on amendments to the current spending plan.

David J. Phillip / AP

Friday on Political Rewind, what is the role of Georgia in election year politics? National attention turns to the Peach State in 2020.

Earlier this week, Lucy McBath announced her support for Bloomberg. The endorsements come as the former New York City mayor tries to recover from the leaked remarks he made in a 2015 speech defending the “stop and frisk” policing policy.


GPB

Gov. Brian Kemp says he foresees a “great budget” when the second round of budget discussions end this week.

Just 12 days into the 2020 session under the Gold Dome, lawmakers decided to take a second break — after having discussed at length already in January concerns they had with the governor’s proposed 4% cuts to the budget this year and 6% cuts next year.

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