Georgia's Reopening Has Been 'A Disaster' For Some Retailers Desperate For Revenue
Republican Georgia governor. Brian Campbell is one of the first to declare a state ready to really open for business and less than two weeks later. The results are not good. Ceo of an axe throwing lar- told the local business journal a few days ago that the reopening weekend was a disaster. We had to customers all weekend. And although malls are open they are mostly deserted. People are not rushing back into economic activity. The reason that's obvious it's because of the virus is still. They're still very present threat and there are already signs that in some parts of Georgia things are actually accelerating getting worse. In fact governor kept himself came out yesterday and warned about a growing outbreak in northeast Georgia in an area synonymous with Georgia's large poultry industry quickly. Becoming one of the States. Most affected areas joining me. Now the woman who ran against Brian Cap for Georgia of the governor of Georgia's Stacey Abrams. She also heads up. The southern economic advancement project was helping to alleviate the financial stress that so many are facing amid the pandemic. And let me start on on that question. Stacey it's great to have you tonight in terms of thinking about the sort of economic pain here. I mean when people talk about wanting to reopen. I think that what they're saying is this is terrible. That people unemployed. They don't have money they can make rent. We've seen food insecurity. Go up like how do you think about cushioning that blow or dealing with that problem as we fight the virus? I? It's a legitimate concern. But it has to be prioritized with actually having an economy and having consumers to participate south has the highest poverty rate one of the highest unemployment rates one of the lowest insurance rates and we also see some of the highest death rates and the highest infection rates. We do not have the public health infrastructure to reopen Georgia or any of the southern states. But we're also seeing the most vulnerable populations being forced back into production. Those poultry workers are not workers who are making lots of money. These are folks who have no choice but to go back to work particularly because the president trump's actions left week and those who are being infected not necessarily have access to Medicaid or to any health. If they need to be treated what do you think about the economic effects of this decision by Governor Camp? Right so I mean the idea. Is that you open up and then you can get the economy going but the early signs in your state which is really kind of sort of a pilot here is that people. Don't rush out to go do stuff they were doing before. Just because the governor said you're open for business. Georgia's a cautionary tale to every other state. That's thinking about reopening first of all. We've SEEN OUR RATE SKYROCKET BY FORTY PERCENT. Since the announced reopening the soft relaunched moving into now the near full reopening we seen our rates of infection jump to thirty thousand or death rate is around thirteen hundred. We remain one of the top states for the infection. And we're still very low on the rate of testing. There is no correlation between reopening the state and actually restarting the economy because there are no people who can take advantage of this reopening except for the workers who are being forced to risk their lives. And as you said earlier we're watching concrete issue with food insecurity rising because the south tends to have the lowest public benefits and so people who are already vulnerable already on the edge being shoved over. And there's no real relief coming from the State. There's this this false notion that if we reopen the economy everything will work out and that's just not true.