Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, announced Monday that the state would reopen businesses on Friday, starting with retail stores such as gyms, hair salons, fitness centers and bowling alleys . Kemp’s decision came after several states, mainly in the south, unveiled their plans to restart part of their economy.
“I think the things that come later are the things that Georgia opened first, which surprised me, those things that have very close personal contact,” said Lamont, a Democrat, on “Squawk Box” of CNBC. “Bars, restaurants where you are closed, probably even hair salons, nail salons, places where you have close personal contact, I think we will have to wait until we have a little more tests and more masks. “
Kemp said his plan was to focus on the small businesses hardest hit by the foreclosure. The move came amid a wave of announcements primarily by Republican governors about how states will move to phase one of President Donald Trump’s “Open America Again” plan.
Last week, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, announced the reopening of certain beaches and parks. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, a Republican, announced Monday that he would not extend the state’s “safer home” order on April 30, allowing most businesses to reopen on May 1.
“Unlike other companies, these entities were unable to manage inventory, manage payroll and take care of administrative matters while we set up on site,” Kemp said on Monday. “This measure allows them to undertake basic operations that most other state-owned companies have maintained since I issued the shelter order on site. “
Georgia and Connecticut have roughly the same number of confirmed cases of Covid-19, more than 19,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The death toll in Connecticut Covid-19 is almost double that of Georgia. Lamont noted that Connecticut’s proximity to the epicenter of the United States’ epidemic, New York, is a risk factor that sets the state apart.
Lamont said he envisaged May 20 as a tentative date to begin reopening the state, adding that increased capacity to test Covid-19 and greater supply of surgical masks will be essential.
“I want to do it with caution. I don’t want to have another big epidemic like the one you see in India and Singapore and elsewhere, ”said Lamont. “My gut feeling is that we’re going to focus on big manufacturing and outdoor construction first. “
Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb echoed Lamont’s concerns about the industries that Georgia has decided to reopen.
“It looks like they put together a list of the riskiest companies and decided to open the first ones,” he said on “Squawk Box”. “I think we should try to focus on trying to get people back to work in factories, offices first. “