Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, constantly cites the failed campaign to vaccinate Americans against the AIDS virus as an example of the pitfalls of health mandates.
Except that the AIDS vaccine does not exist. And there was certainly not a failed campaign to mandate it.
He made the comments most recently in a section of right-wing commentator Erick Erickson’s podcast, emphasizing that as a result of his knowledge of the non-existent AIDS vaccine, he believes that education is a more effective tool than mandates.
“That’s basically how the AIDS vaccine worked. People didn’t want to take it early because that was mandate, they started educating people, and now it’s doing very well out there,” Kemp told Erickson. “Same scenario, second year that we’re dealing with right now.”
A fact check from Atlanta TV station 11 Alive rated Kemp’s claims as “false” – noting that the governor has made similar comments about AIDS vaccines at least two other times over the past year.
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When the station reached a comment, Kemp’s office said he intended to mention human papillomavirus or HPV vaccine. But even this statement raises the eyebrow HPV vaccine is also mandated in a number of states to go to public schools (including vaccinations), a campaign that has largely been effective in getting school-age children vaccinated, 11 Alive reported.
The governor has been a strong opponent of the recent public health efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19. Kemp has repeatedly said he will never sign on mask or vaccine mandates while in office, drawing criticism from public health experts.
In fact, the state’s public health commissioner, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, even her lawyer for writing a formal letter last year stating that she thought the governor’s plans to reopen live entertainment venues was a bad idea, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That ultimately did not prevent Kemp from doing so.
“It’s one thing to say you follow science; it’s another thing to cut science into what you want it to be,” said Amber Schmidtke, a public health researcher who taught at Mercer University Medical School in Macon. , Georgia, for paper. “Many people were injured and many people died when they did not need it.”
Kemp acknowledged the difficulty of his decisions at a press conference during brouhaha and said: “We had to make some very tough choices in extraordinary times and there is no playbook for this.”
“When I look back on a year, every day is a reminder of the things we went through, the hard decisions we made.”
He has also been a supporter of former President Donald Trump — but received a very public outburst of anger from the ex-boss when he opposed Trump’s attempt to overthrow Georgia’s 2020 election results.
Since then, however, Kemp has pushed for voting laws that not only restrict access to the ballot paper for many Georgians, but also allow government officials to stage hostile takeovers of local election boards – raising concerns about Republicans’ efforts to undermine future elections.