Georgia ER doctor calls plan to reopen state a ‘slap in the face’

An ER doctor in Georgia says plans to start lifting the coronavirus lockdown are a “slap in the face” to frontline workers — and warned that they “cannot help you if you’re dead.”

Dr. Mehrdod Ehteshami told 11 Alive that everyone working in hospitals in the Peach State had “the rug taken out underneath them” when Gov. Brian Kemp announced plans Monday to restart the state’s economy.

“It is essentially a slap in the face of all my nurses, and therapists and people that are on the front lines,” the Atlanta ER doc insisted.

“They have essentially just prolonged the exposure that my staff is going to have to this disease,” he said of the fear that a new wave of patients could come if people were to get infected due to the slackening of restrictions.

“The financial aspect of this is not something that’s foreign to me. But I cannot help you if you’re dead,” the ER doc warned.

Ehteshami insisted it was a call that transcends politics.

“My patients are the entire community,” he told the station. “So when I speak this, it’s not as a Republican or Democrat. I speak this as somebody who loves my community.

“And I can tell you that I am very scared for my community,” he said.

Georgia’s timetable, one of the most aggressive in the nation, would allow gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors to reopen as long as owners follow social-distancing and hygiene requirements. Elective medical procedures would also resume.

By Monday, movie theaters may resume selling tickets, and restaurants limited to takeout orders could return to limited dine-in service.

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