Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:
The Daily Citizen-News on celebrating Thanksgiving amid the rise in coronavirus cases across the U.S.:
We are only 10 days away from Thanksgiving, a beloved fall holiday where we gather with friends and family as we give thanks for the blessings in our lives.
Traditionally, we hold large gatherings on Thanksgiving Thursday with huge spreads of food — turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, that special dish your grandmother always makes — and an array of fun activities, from pickup football games in the backyard to battling the crowds as the holiday shopping season unofficially gets underway.
But like most parts of our lives, the new coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed how we celebrate the holidays. We are currently in the midst of another COVID-19 surge, as the country is setting daily records for infections and deaths.
As of Monday, the United States reported more than 11.2 million confirmed, cumulative COVID-19 cases and more than 246,000 deaths attributed to the virus. Closer to home, Whitfield County on Monday reported 6,731 confirmed, cumulative COVID-19 cases with almost 15% of those cases (996) coming in the past two weeks.
This most recent surge in COVID-19 cases has been partly linked to weddings, dinner parties and small gatherings as people let their guard down, believing events involving fewer people were a safe alternative.
Health officials worry that the country’s COVID-19 situation will worsen since people are spending more time indoors due to colder temperatures, and thousands of college students are returning home for the Thanksgiving holiday after being on campuses for months. We are also in the early stages of flu season. Put these factors together along with the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases and you can see why there is much trepidation.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines advising us how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving — if we choose to celebrate at all. The full guidelines can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/thanksgiving.html.
To make Thanksgiving safer, the CDC advises all attendees to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you and wash your hands as often as possible.
If you are hosting a Thanksgiving meal, here are the CDC’s recommendations:
• Have a small outdoor meal with family and friends who live in your community.
• Limit the number of guests.
• Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.
• Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and items between use.
• If celebrating indoors, make sure to open windows.
• Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
• Have guests bring their own food and drink.
• If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.
As much as it pains us to say, our traditional, large Thanksgiving celebrations should be put on hold this year. You may want to consider skipping Thanksgiving altogether. We have all made tremendous sacrifices during this pandemic, from canceled graduations to postponed trips to skipping vacations with family and friends.
Unfortunately, we must continue to make those sacrifices.
The Valdosta Daily Times on U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler calling for the resignation of Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger:
At the very least a United States senator should believe in democracy and protect our liberty.
Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler failed the people of Georgia on both fronts in recent days.
Their all out, unrestrained attack on Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is an assault on the people of Georgia and everyone’s liberty.
With absolutely no justification, they verbally attacked their fellow Republican and called for his immediate resignation. They are calling for the secretary of state’s job simply because he is doing his job.
Their senseless assault on the 2020 presidential election in our state is reckless and irresponsible.
If they have evidence of widespread, systemic voter fraud in Georgia, then they need to present even just one shred of that evidence.
Their wild, baseless accusations are dangerous.
Their tactics are desperate attempts to retain their seats, play to their base and conjure the support of President Donald Trump.
The people of Georgia deserve better.
Raffensperger’s job is not, as the senators seem to think, to get Perdue and Loeffler reelected. His job is to run a clean and transparent election, and that is exactly what he is doing.
Perdue and Loeffler are more concerned about their own power and influence than they are about their political party, the state or even liberty itself.
They are impugning our most fundamental democratic institution, all for political gain.
Look, we have been pretty hard on Raffensperger in the past when he tried to put lipstick on a pig by being less than forthcoming about the shortcomings of the state’s new multi-million dollar touchscreen voting machine during test runs last year.
However, he righted that ship and we never believed he failed to run an honest, clean election.
Frankly, it was shocking to hear two U.S. senators level such baseless accusations with no evidence to support their claims. It was beneath them and beneath the office they hold.
Republicans in Georgia can be proud of their secretary of state this go around. He has acquitted himself well and represented his Republican party well by showing himself to be a man of integrity and principle and not caving to partisan pressure throughout this tense and embattled electoral process.
The secretary of state has already announced there will be a recount, audit and recanvass, not because the senators are calling for it, not because the current administration wants it but because of the narrow margin of victory in the presidential race. So, what else do Perdue and Loeffler want from Raffensperger? Simply, they want his job?
Why? That is also pretty simple — they didn’t get what they wanted from him: a clear and decisive victory.
Saying that “every legal vote must be counted” is trite and pandering.
Everyone — every Republican, every Democrat and most certainly Brad Raffensperger himself — believes that every legal vote must be counted.
The Brunswick News on voting in Georgia’s upcoming senate runoff elections:
If you are not registered to vote and are 18 years of age or older, now is the time to do so. There is a critically important runoff election on the horizon in Georgia which may very well be for control of the U.S. Senate.
Republicans have it and want to keep it. Democrats hope to capture the majority, and they have an excellent chance of doing so.
The last day to register to vote, whether planning to support the two Republican incumbents or their Democratic challengers, in the Senate runoff is Dec. 7. A Public Service Commission post also will be on the runoff ballot.
Georgians defending their two seats in the U.S. Senate are David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Perdue is completing his first six-term in the upper chamber of Congress and Loeffler is seeking election to the post she was appointed to by Gov. Brian Kemp following the resignation of Sen. Johnny Isakson.
Two Democrats are challenging them in the runoff. Jon Ossoff is opposing Perdue and the Rev. Raphael Warnock is opposing Loeffler.
In this nation, where politics weigh heavily in decision- making, political affiliation means everything. Democrats are the dominant influence in the U.S. House of Representatives and the presumptive winner of the White House. If they manage to lasso the Senate, they will be in complete control of all of this nation’s law-making and policy-making decisions.
Republicans will strive hard to hold onto the Senate for this reason. Sustaining ownership of the 100-member chamber will strengthen the party’s ability to negotiate, stall or upend legislation and policies requiring congressional approval.
You will want to be part of determining whether one party will control all levels of the federal government or whether the two main political parties will share power in Congress.
You can play an important role by registering to vote before Dec. 7 and casting a ballot in advance or on the runoff election day.
Here are some other important dates to remember: Nov. 18, earliest day for the registrar’s office to mail an absentee ballot to registered voters; Dec. 14: the start of advanced in-person early voting; Jan. 5, 2021, runoff election day.