Lindsey Graham Worried Georgia Reopening Is Going 'Too Fast Too Soon'

On Tuesday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham stated that he was worried about the speed of Georgia's reopening, noting that he felt it was "too fast too soon."

"I support what South Carolina Governor @henrymcmaster announced yesterday -- a small reopening of our state's economy with a focus on social distancing. I worry that our friends and neighbors in Georgia are going too fast too soon," Graham said in a recent tweet.

"We respect Georgia's right to determine its own fate, but we are all in this together. What happens in Georgia will impact us in South Carolina," Graham wrote in another tweet.

We respect Georgia's right to determine its own fate, but we are all in this together.

What happens in Georgia will impact us in South Carolina.

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 21, 2020

Graham's comments come shortly after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced the state's plans to reopen the economy by the end of the week. His announcement stated that some designated "non-essential" businesses, including gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, barbers, hair salons and massage therapists, can open for business on April 24.

Additionally, his announcement noted that on April 27, movie theatres will be allowed to begin selling tickets and restaurants will no longer be limited to take-out options. Kemp added that these businesses that are allowed to reopen must continue to follow strict social distancing measures.

"In the same way that we carefully closed businesses and urged operations to end to mitigate the virus's spread, today we're announcing plans to incrementally and safely reopen sectors of our economy," Kemp said during a recent press conference.

Senator Lindsey Graham
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a press conference at the US Capitol March 25, 2020, in Washington, DC. Alex Edelman/Getty

South Carolina has also announced plans to reopen the state's economy, but in a less aggressive fashion. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced a new executive order which removed restrictions on public access areas like beaches, piers and docks. Some nonessential retail stores are also allowed to reopen.

Despite the changes South Carolina, McMaster noted that strict social distancing measures will still be in effect. Law enforcement will still be allowed to break up groups of three or more people and businesses that do open will be limited to 20 percent of their normal occupancy or limited to five customers per 1,000 square feet, whichever is less.

According to a tracker provided by Johns Hopkins University, there are currently over 19,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia, and over 4,400 in South Carolina.

As more states begin to reopen their economies, a number of other health experts and government officials have made comments similar to Graham's, cautioning a quick return to normalcy, as it could create a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

During a recent interview with ABC's Good Morning America, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that returning too quickly could "backfire."

"So what you do if you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you're going to set yourself back," Fauci said. "So as painful as it is to go by the careful guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening, it's going to backfire. That's the problem."

"Clearly this is something that is hurting from the standpoint of economics and the standpoint of things that have nothing to do with the virus, but unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen," he added.