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Exclusive interview: Warnock encouraged by local COVID response, discouraged by voting law

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 8:55 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock came to Augusta on Monday to visit Fort Gordon as part of a tour across Georgia to tout the American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Biden on March 12.

News 12 spoke with him in an exclusive one-on-one interview.

Warnock says community partnerships are a big part of getting more people vaccinated against COVID-19.

He told us he was encouraged by how Augusta’s health care providers have worked with the community.

“It also addresses issues of hesitancy when people see folks they know get the vaccine,” he said. “My own church, Ebeneezer Baptist Church, is vaccinating people every week. And I’ve seen firsthand those partnerships work, they make a difference.”

He bragged on Augusta University Health while addressing concerns about some people not wanting to get the vaccine.

“They’re doing an admirable job with connecting to Black churches other communities of faith, other partners in the community in order to win people’s confidence that they need not fear the vaccine. It’s the virus that’s the problem,” he said.

“The sooner we get everyone vaccinated, we can get this pandemic under control. The better for our families, the better for our health. It saves lives and it’s going to help save our economy.”

He also addressed Georgia’s new voting legislation that’s drawn criticism and prompted calls for boycotts of the state.

“I’m doing everything I can to make sure that their voices aren’t diminishing or compromised by those in the state Legislature that are making voting rights now harder than easier,” he said.

Also in the news ...

  • Fellow Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff will be in Augusta today to talk about the American Rescue Plan passed earlier this month. He’ll be joining a roundtable discussion with local leaders about the relief package. That will be at the Augusta Marriott at 8 p.m., and it will be closed to the media. Ossoff will also be in Augusta on Wednesday to visit a vaccination site.

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