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I-TEAM: Kemp rep responds to order protecting health care groups from some lawsuits during COVID-19 pandemic

(Source: WRDW)
(Source: WRDW)(WRDW)
Published: May. 7, 2020 at 5:37 PM EDT
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Thursday, May 7, 2020

News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- The I-Team wants to clarify a report you saw here last night at 6 p.m.

We reported Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued immunity from prosecution to nursing homes during the pandemic.

The governor used his emergency powers to issue that limited liability in April.

To clarify, that order also protects hospitals, healthcare workers, surgical and diagnostic centers, and rehab centers from personal injury lawsuits during the crisis.

But that order does not grant full immunity. It does not protect any of those institutions from being sued for gross negligence or if a practitioner acts in bad faith.

Additionally, we reported Kemp received tens of thousands in campaign contributions from healthcare lobbyists for his re-election campaign.

Those contributions came in December and January before the pandemic began.

Georgia is one of 15 states to pass such immunity protections for health care workers during the nationwide fight against the coronavirus.

National healthcare groups are asking Congress to consider passing new legislation that would make this limited liability applicable nationwide.

A spokesperson for Kemp's office sent this statement: "The executive order provides greater protection – not immunity – to Georgia’s healthcare workers as they fight in the trenches against this pandemic. These heroes are working multiple shifts and putting their lives on the line every day to save Georgians infected with this virus. The Governor stands with them and thanks them for their daily sacrifice."

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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