Kemp: ‘At this time I don’t see a need’ for state lockdown

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Georgia governor Brian Kemp said Friday he doesn’t see a need right now for a state lockdown amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with 41NBC’s Bill Shanks on Middle Georgia’s ESPN’s The Bill Shanks Show, the governor did say the option “remains on the table if I feel the need for it.”

Georgia’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 485 Friday night, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s official count, which updates twice daily at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Shanks and Kemp discussed several topics including Georgia companies stepping in to manufacture much-needed products and the possibility of a statewide lockdown following several governors’ decisions to issue stay-at-home orders for all non-essential business.

“I’ve been working with the locals and trusting them,” Kemp said. “I’ve asked a couple of them if they wanted me to come in with an emergency order to help them with the hot spot situations like we’ve had in Albany and Cartersville. They have told me that they didn’t need thatthat they can handle it within the local community.”

“I think when you can do that, it’s best,” Kemp continued. “Nobody wants the military police or the National Guard or somebody coming in, locking their hometown down like you do under martial law or a communist country.”

The governor offered his thoughts just hours after President Donald Trump was asked about the possibility of a nationwide lockdown during a briefing at the White House.

“I don’t think so,” the president told reporters.

Kemp told Shanks his biggest concern was the nation’s lack of medical equipment and reliance on China for those products.

“We’ve got to start making that stuff ourselves here in our own country where we can control our own destiny,” Kemp said.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reported 14 COVID-19 related deaths in its latest update Friday.