Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said that he did not know until yesterday that asymptomatic people could spread coronavirus.
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Kemp—who governs the state where the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is located—made the remarks while announcing a stay-at-home order in the state on Wednesday.
“Finding out that this virus is now transmitting before people see signs, so what we’ve been telling people from directives from the CDC for weeks now: if you start feeling bad, stay home,” Kemp said. “Those individuals could have been infecting people before they even felt bad. We didn’t know that until the last 24 hours.”
On the CDC’s website it notes that “some people without symptoms” may be able to spread coronavirus, along with other well-known ways like being in close contact with someone showing symptoms, droplets from coughing and sneezing, and contact with contaminated surfaces.
Anthony Fauci, who is leading the White House’s coronavirus task force, brought up asymptomatic transfers in late January during a press briefing, saying that they didn’t know if it was possible at first but after getting a report from Germany they found that is “absolutely the case.”
The CDC gave guidelines on asymptomatic transmissions on March 1.
For example, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tested positive for the virus, but did not show symptoms. That led to some members of Congress who had been near him to self-quarantine.
Kemp’s admission caught the attention of people online—including lawmakers.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said Kemp’s remarks showed that the country needed “a national test, trace, and quarantine program” becuase “governors and mayors aren’t public health experts.”
“This is why we need a national test, trace, and quarantine program,” Murphy wrote in a tweet. “Because Governors and Mayors aren’t public health experts, and Kemp isn’t alone in totally misunderstanding the science and making fatal mistakes as a consequence.”
Other people were puzzled as to how Kemp just now found out about how asymptomatic people can spread the virus.
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