Dear Friends –
Yesterday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp spoke to the media after confirming Georgia’s first death to the COVID-19 pandemic, a 67-year old man with underlying health issues in Cobb County. He announced that Georgia public colleges will be closed for two weeks and is recommending schools and daycares close as early as today, as well as for seniors to avoid large crowds as a precaution.
I want to first extend my sincerest sympathies to the family of the gentleman who passed and urge others who have tested positive or may have been exposed to the coronavirus to take every precaution possible to ensure their health. Our campaign is taking preventative measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, including the suspension of our rallies and town halls that have brought me so much joy as I’ve traveled across our state. We will be converting many of these to “virtual” campaign stops, so stay tuned for more information on how you can participate in future online events.
As not only the former Mayor of Columbus, GA, but also as its former Public Safety Director and Head of Homeland Security, I am taking this public health crisis extremely seriously. What I offer as your next U.S. Senator is a steady hand with experience to help guide our government’s response during emergencies such as this.
For eight years as the chief elected officer of the Columbus Consolidated Government and the liaison with Ft. Benning, I worked with five commanding generals and have maintained a National Security Secret Clearance. While the response to COVID-19 is new to us all, I have run exercises formulating a government response to crises in my capacity as Mayor and Head of Homeland security. I believe this experience is invaluable.
Georgia deserves a Senator with the ability to lead, not learn on the fly or promote misinformation. As the home of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and a global airline hub in Atlanta, we have a unique responsibility to communicate to the nation, work with government stakeholders, and create a plan to isolate and contain this virus.
I would also be remiss not to express my frustration with an unjust system that, in this moment of crisis, bails out the most well-off among us, while millions of people struggle to navigate daily life and millions more lack basic healthcare coverage.
It was just announced that the Federal Reserve would be pumping $1.5 TRILLION into short-term funding for banking institutions. There was no question of how we would pay for it, yet somehow that question arises when it comes to paid sick leave, free childcare, universal healthcare, or even accessing testing kits that are critical to preventing the spread of this virus.
Our present situation is untenable and unacceptable. I could never have predicted this situation when I began this campaign, but it is one that has made me more determined than ever to lead us through it to build the safe, healthy, prosperous society we all deserve.