Georgia House Democrats call for mask mandate from Gov. Kemp

A group of Democratic state lawmakers called on Gov. Brian Kemp Wednesday to do more to protect Georgians from COVID-19.

"We all take an oath when we took office to serve and to protect and honestly, the governor has failed that oath," said state Rep. Donna McLeod, D-Lawrenceville.

The House Democratic Caucus' COVID-19 Response Team held a news conference at the state Capitol and urged Kemp to institute a statewide mask mandate, particularly in K-12 schools, as well as colleges and universities.

GA House Democratic Caucus' COVID-19 Response Team

The House Democratic Caucus' COVID-19 Response Team held a news conference at the state Capitol advocating for a statewide mask mandate, particularly in K-12 schools, colleges and universities. (FOX 5 Atlanta) (FOX 5 Atlanta)

"We are asking Gov. Kemp to step up and do the right thing," said state Rep. Kim Schofield, D-Atlanta.

The group also publicly pushed for the governor and State School Superintendent Richard Woods to create a statewide virtual learning platform so that children whose schools or classrooms get shut down do no miss out on instruction.  

RELATED: Georgia sets pandemic high for new COVID-19 cases as kids hit hard

"We have large numbers of children who are going in and out of the classroom," said state Rep. Rebecca Mitchell, D-Snellville.  "Currently we do not have a uniform state structure that is helping school districts be able to manage this."  

State Rep. Roger Bruce, D-Atlanta, however, went a step further than his colleagues.

RELATED: 13-year-old Floyd County student dies from COVID-19, coroner says

"We need to take a stand and say we're going to close these schools until everyone has access to the vaccine," said Rep. Bruce.

Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved any COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of 12.

RELATED: DPH says half of Georgia's recent COVID-19 outbreaks traced to schools

"It is clear — as it has been from the beginning of the pandemic — that the only plan Georgia Democrats have is to play pandemic politics. Their plan is to shut down businesses, close schools, and force every kid to wear a mask. Governor Kemp will remain focused on taking common-sense steps to protect Georgia businesses, encourage vaccination, keep kids in school, and ensure our hospitals and health care workers have the resources they need to deliver care to Georgians in need," said Cody Hall, Gov. Kemp's communications director.  

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