Apr 26, 2020 - Health

Ex-FDA head says Georgia is "jumping the gun" on reopening economy

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS News' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is "jumping the gun" by gradually reopening the state's economy, claiming that the state is "certainly not out of the woods."

Why it matters: The criticism from Gottlieb, who has become a trusted voice in the coronavirus response outside of the government, echoes President Trump's own accusation that Georgia is violating White House guidelines on lifting coronavirus restrictions.

  • Trump said at a press conference on Wednesday that he "strongly" disagrees with Kemp reopening Georgia's nonessential businesses, including close-contact establishments like gyms and barbershops.
  • Gottlieb served as FDA commissioner under Trump until April 2019. He resigned in March 2019, citing his desire to spend more time with his family.

What they're saying:

"Georgia's certainly not out of the woods. They're only testing about 1% of the total population. They have 23,000 cases. They may have plateaued in their epidemic — maybe — but they're still accruing a lot of new cases. ... Georgia's certainly jumping the gun I think here, getting started too early relative to where they are in their epidemic."
— Scott Gottlieb

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