With Trump’s Go-Ahead, Georgia Is Reopening

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Despite warnings from public health officials that reopening the economy too soon could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases, Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, announced Monday that gyms, hair and nail salons, and bowling alleys would open back up on Friday. Restaurants and movie theaters are slated to open the following Monday, April 27.

South Carolina and Tennessee have similarly relaxed restrictions on non-essential businesses, following a push from President Trump to allow some governors to reopen their states on or before May 1. Trump’s benchmarks for reopening recommend that states see steady declines in coronavirus cases for 14 days, that their hospital systems not be overwhelmed, and that they have robust testing available before reopening. Going into Monday, Georgia had seen five straight days of declines in new positives; the longterm trend is uncertain.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has cautioned against states reopening too quickly, telling the Associated Press, “I’ll guarantee you, once you start pulling back there will be infections.” He warned that without aggressive testing and contact tracing, case counts could skyrocket.

Meanwhile, 18,947 people in Georgia have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 733 people have died. As one Twitter user noted, Georgia’s schools are set to remain closed for the remainder of the school year.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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