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North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper (D) is expressing worry about the speed at which his neighbor to the southwest is reopening their economy in the face of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.
Georgia Gov Brian Kemp (R) has been moving swiftly to lift the lockdown conditions which had been in place to try to slow the spread of the virus, so as to restart the state’s shuttered economy, despite warnings from health professionals that it’s too early to do so from the perspective of trying to control the pandemic.
Even Donald Trump, who has been pushing to reopen the US economy, was critical of Kemp’s decision.
“The virus doesn’t respect state lines. And in North Carolina, we took early, strong action. And I’m proud of the people of North Carolina that they have flattened the curve. We’re not going to risk the health of our people or our hospital system by opening too early,” said Cooper. “We know that if you just turn on the light, then you’re going to have a real problem. We’re going to use a dimmer switch and we’re going to use science and data and facts to make the decision on when we begin opening gradually. We know we have a lot of visitors from Georgia, we love our friends in Georgia. But we’re really concerned about how quickly this is happening, and we want to make sure that we keep our numbers as low as possible so that we can begin the process of reopening, because a lot of people are hurting out there economically.
“I can understand the desire to want to open up as quickly as possible, because of all the people hurting. But we have to listen to the health experts on this,” he added.
Georgia has reported 27,494 cases of COVID-19, including 1,167 deaths where North Carolina has reported 10,509 cases and just 378 deaths.
CNN host Jake Tapper asked Cooper during an interview if he’s concerned whether Kemp’s decisions will put North Carolinians in danger.
“We’re very concerned about it. And we know the positive cases probably won’t show up until two or three weeks from now,” Cooper said. “I was talking to people in western North Carolina, which is probably, many of them live closer to Atlanta than they do in Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina.
“And they’re concerned about their friends who go to Georgia and come back, and that it could end up causing infections in North Carolina. You know, we’re all in this together. And we need a national strategy. We need to work together to try to fight this virus,” Cooper added. “We’re going to beat it at the end of the day. But what we want to try to do is to work together. And I hope we can.”
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