As the violent insurrection, spurred on by President Donald Trump, was occurring at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., WABE spoke with U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, who was in a secure location at the Capitol.
“Even now, I can, like, hear movement from outside of where we are,” said Williams. “And I don’t know if it someone trying to come in here because our building is not yet secured, and we have not gotten the all clear yet.”
Members of Congress were told to grab the gas masks under their chairs and start making their way to the secure location, according to Johnson.
Five people, including one police officer, died in the armed insurrection at the Capitol.
Earlier in the day, at a rally in D.C., President Trump, his lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his son Donald Trump Jr. called on demonstrators to march to the Capitol to stop the certification of Joe Biden as the next President.
After rousing some in the crowd to storm the Capitol, members of Congress called on the immediate removal of Trump as President using the 25th Amendment.
Georgia changed the balance of power in Washington, D.C. by handing Joe Biden the first Democratic win here since 1992 and sending two Democrats –a Black pastor and a young Jewish businessman– to the U.S. Senate.
Black voters turnout…
One of the reasons for Warnock and Ossoff’s victories was the number of Black voters in and outside metro Atlanta, who showed up in record numbers to vote. The attack ads against Warnock may have played a role in energizing Black churchgoers in South Georgia.
“You are calling us out of our name,” said Pastor Michael Ephraim Sr. of Bethel AME Church in Albany. ” It’s almost on the schoolyard where somebody talks about your momma… ‘Don’t talk about my momma!'”
The ads against Warnock, the reverend of Ebenezer Baptist Church, were an attack on the Black church, according to Ephraim.
The Black church has always fought for racial and social justice, said Ephraim. And painting the Black church as radical is a perennial double standard, especially compared to predominately white religious institutions that may advocate for the same issues.
‘Full Pandemic Resurgence’ In Georgia…
COVID-19 was not the top story this week, but we can’t forget how bad this pandemic is. In Georgia, we are continuing to see elevated levels of confirmed cases as we have also seen at least one known case of the more infectious COVID-19 variant B117.
The situation in Georgia is showing signs of a “full pandemic resurgence,” according to the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
The latest Task Force report, obtained by WABE, shows Georgia had the ninth highest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the country in the week leading up to Jan. 3.
Georgia’s post-holiday COVID-19 figures “raise significant concerns” and suggest a “resurgence of community spread,” according to the report, which calls for “aggressive mitigation” efforts and a “substantial acceleration of vaccinations.”
Gov. Brian Kemp has continually declined to put new coronavirus restrictions in place.
Meantime, Georgia trails nearly every other state in the number of vaccines administered for every 100,000 people, according to data obtained from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We need to do a better job of reporting,” Kemp said Friday. “We need to do a better job of making sure we’re communicating with the public and answering the phones and that the folks at the local level are getting the appointments set up. And that we’re transparent with people and all that messaging. I’m committed to continuing to do that.”
Kemp blamed bad data reporting for Georgia’s low spot on the federal rankings of states’ COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Public health departments are being inundated with calls from people hoping to get vaccinated, according to Kemp, who says the state plans to begin offering shots to people over 65 next week.
Ambassador Andrew Young, Xernona Clayton, former Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan, and Atlanta Braves’ former home run king Hank Aaron all stopped by Morehouse School of Medicine, Tuesday, to get the vaccine.
All four are over the age of 75, so they’re in the first group of people eligible for vaccines.
“What we said is, ‘If we have Civil Rights leaders and leaders who are community leaders to come, then we can encourage other people to want to get vaccinated.’ said Dr. Michelle Nichols with Morehouse Healthcare. ” And so far, the response has been overwhelming. Our phones are ringing off the hook.”
Morehouse School of Medicine will offer free vaccinations to the public in the coming weeks.