Commentary

Media Ignores Science in Pathetic Attempt To Link Georgia COVID Cases to Reopening

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The establishment media have latched onto a narrative that government officials who have taken measures to reopen their economies, particularly Republican governors, are going to kill people.

They aren’t going to let the facts or science get in the way.

Left-wing media outlets are hoping to use Georgia, which has been aggressive at lifting restrictions on business, as a case study in how Republicans want to sentence people to death.

One newspaper even attempted to prematurely link new cases of the coronavirus to Gov. Brian Kemp’s loosening of lockdown restrictions.

The New York Daily News reported an increase of the state’s confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday and seemed to deceptively attach them to Kemp’s decision.

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“Georgia sees 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours as it emerges from lockdown,” a Daily News headline declared before the dust had even settled inside the state’s newly reopened businesses.

There are two issues with the report, which cited the numbers from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The first was the suggestion that those cases were in some way linked to the state’s easing restrictions on businesses or the statewide lockdown order being lifted.

Kemp lifted lockdown restrictions on willing businesses, including gyms, hair and nail salons and tattoo parlors, and permitted restaurants to offer dine-in services, late last month.

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These businesses were all allowed to reopen as long as they followed public safety guidelines, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, which included staff and customers continuing to use physical distancing as a mitigation tool.

The Republican governor also asked people in his state to wear masks to protect themselves and their neighbors as Georgia attempts to avert an economic calamity.

Businesses previously designated nonessential could open beginning on April 24, with restaurants cleared to serve customers in-person beginning on April 27, Kemp ordered.

The state’s broader stay-at-home order also expired on Friday, The Journal-Constitution reported.

By the math used by the Daily News, the spread of the coronavirus would have had to increase dramatically in a very short period of time not supported by what we know about the disease’s incubation period — which pretty much eliminates a link between those 1,000 cases and the state’s decision to reopen.

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The incubation period for the coronavirus is around five to six days, but some people won’t see symptoms for up to two weeks, if estimates from the World Health Organization can be trusted.

That means that the 1,000 people would have had to contract the virus, show symptoms and test positive for COVID-19 all on the lowest end of that incubation period spectrum, and some of them would have had to test positive on the same day the lockdown order expired.

The math doesn’t add up.

Second, there is an issue with the “more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases” the Daily News cited in its report.

The number of newly confirmed cases Friday was actually 459, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health website Wednesday.

In fairness to the Daily News, the numbers on that website are sometimes revised by the hour for cases reported within the last 14 days, and some dates have updated cases by single digits as this was being written.

But had the newspaper not been so eager to push out its story linking cases to the easing of lockdown restrictions, its editors would have seen that the number of reported cases in Georgia is continuing to drop.

On Saturday, the state had 133 new cases, followed by 124 on Sunday and 120 on Monday.

On Tuesday — 11 days after the easing of restrictions — 57 new cases were reported in the Peach State, which is home to roughly 10 million people. The state has reported about 30,000 cases overall, according to Johns Hopkins.

By comparison, Michigan, which is led by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and is similar to Georgia with regard to population, reported 447 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday, according to WWMT-TV, and has had more than 45,000 confirmed cases.

Michigan is near a total shutdown, while Georgia is open for business.

This wasn’t supposed to happen, not according to media outlets that told us that Kemp was recklessly playing with Georgians’ lives.

The leftist publication The Atlantic warned us that the governor’s decision was “dangerous” in an article preparing us for the coming death.

The April 29 article, headlined “Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice,” said the state was “about to find out how many people need to lose their lives to shore up the economy.”

Democrats and their media allies are watching Georgia like a hawk so they can blame Kemp and Republicans for death and sickness.

Atlanta’s Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who is opposed to loosening restrictions on businesses in her city, shared a Forbes article on Monday warning that Georgians were now 40 percent more likely to contract the coronavirus.

That article, which was headlined “The risk of exposure to COVID-19 in Georgia has increased by more than 40% since the state reopened for business,” has since been taken down by Forbes without explanation.

The story link directs to a page that reads, “This page is no longer active.”

It is too early to dunk on the media fear peddlers, as the coronavirus does pose a serious risk to many people, and it is early.

But it is obvious that almost two weeks in, Georgia’s attempt to mitigate the spread of the disease through physical distancing and smart behavior, while allowing people and business owners to exercise their rights, is working — at least for now.

Georgia is trusting its citizens to behave responsibly.

Thus far, there has been no dramatic spike in cases.

There certainly weren’t 1,000 cases Friday that could be attributed to Kemp or other Republicans.

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Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has authored thousands of news articles throughout his career. He has also worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.




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