AROUND TOWN: About that 80% number … | Around Town –

Posted By on April 10, 2020

Wellstar Health Systems Dr. Danny Branstetter raised quite a few eyebrows last month when he told the Cobb Board of Commissioners that 80% of people would get the coronavirus.

Eighty percent of people standing in this room will get COVID-19 no matter what action you take today, he warned commissioners. Eighty percent of us will get COVID-19. Is it next week, is it six months from now?

Branstetter went on to explain why that figure made it so important to aggressively promote social distancing.

What we need to do is put in measures so our healthcare personnel can be available, (so) the equipment, the supplies, the testing, medications, the ventilators can be available to take care of each and every one of us, he said. The best measure for that to be instilled is social distancing. Thats the only way were going to be able to spread this out long enough, that way, when 80% of us get that, well all receive the highest care possible.

Some who were watching the meeting and commenting thought the number was an exaggeration. (Live chat replay was turned off for this video, per YouTube, so AT could not quote directly from the viewers in question.)

Even Gov. Brian Kemp seemed to question the number when asked about it during an interview with the MDJ March 27.

I dont know where Dr. Branstetter got his information, Kemp said.

Well, heres the answer as Branstetter has now shared the source: a team at Londons Imperial College that modeled the spread of the virus.

In the (unlikely) absence of any control measures or spontaneous changes in individual behaviour, we would expect a peak in mortality (daily deaths) to occur after approximately 3 months, they write. In such scenarios we predict 81% of the (Great Britain) and US populations would be infected over the course of the epidemic.

BAD POLITICS: The crusades of Jimmy Herndon, Democrat candidate for Cobb County sheriff, to disqualify two opponents in the Democratic primary hit a bump in the road with news that Gregory Gilstrap and Cobb police Major Craig Owens won appeals against their disqualifications.

Jimmy Herndon

As reported by the MDJ, Herndon was successful in convincing the Cobb Board of Elections to disqualify Owens and Gilstrap from the race.

Yet when both men appealed the boards decision to Cobb Superior Court, the court reversed the elections boards ruling, finding that in fact they are qualified to run. So much for the collective wisdom of the Cobb Board of Elections.

Without showing his hand for who he might support in the race for Cobb sheriff, Tre Hutchins, the sole candidate for Cobb school board Post 3, called Herndons attempts to disqualify his rivals a witch hunt.

Im glad to see that Gilstrap and Owens both are back on the ticket. Look at how many elected officials dont fill out paperwork correctly, and theyve been in office for years. And if thats your first time running, youre not going to know everything, Hutchins said, adding that voters should have a choice between all three men in the upcoming Democratic primary. I just felt like that was a poor tactic. Using those technicalities to limit those options is just bad politics. So Im just excited we have options now.

Though he hasnt chosen his candidate, Hutchins remarks sound similar to a statement that came from the Owens campaign on Monday, which in part said, Voters deserve a choice.

The sentiment is one that is shared by many Democrats. At the hearing where the Democrats were DQd, Herndon also took exception to how Republican incumbent Sheriff Neil Warren filed. Herndon withdrew that complaint after he was shown documents proving the sheriff indeed notarized the campaign documents Herndon claimed he hadnt.

So had Herndon had his way, hed have been the last man standing without anyone casting a vote. Sounds more like a monarchy than a democracy.

CANCELLATION: Members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy Kennesaw Chapter 241 send word that they have canceled their 2020 Confederate Memorial Day Observance which was to be held on April 25, citing coronavirus concerns.

The members agreed the health and well-being of its members, guests and participants of the event was their utmost concern. The five military veterans who were to receive Military Service Awards will receive their certificates and medals in private ceremonies. Their military service to our great country will not go unacknowledged by the UDC, the chapter said in an announcement.

POSTPONEMENT: The retirement party for Rabbi Steven Lebow at Temple Kol Emeth is now July 18. It was originally scheduled for April 18 but was delayed due to coronavirus concerns.

Lebow has served for over three decades as the senior rabbi at the Reform synagogue in east Cobb. In that time, he has built a legacy of civil rights and social justice. Lebow will become the rabbi emeritus at Kol Emeth and will give occasional sermons.

Rabbi Lebows Opus is 5:30 to 11 p.m. July 18 at Temple Kol Emeth, 1415 Old Canton Road near Marietta. The event includes a dinner, tribute show and dessert reception. Nefesh Mountain, a band inspired by bluegrass and Jewish heritage, will perform a concert. The mistress of ceremonies is CNN correspondent Holly Firfer.

Tickets start at $36 for the show and reception only, and there are general admission tickets for $154, as well as VIP tickets and sponsor tickets. For more information or to register, visit

CALLING GLADYS KRAVITZ: The Cobb County Government announced on its Facebook page Tuesday that We have received multiple calls about businesses and/or groups that may be in violation of the Governors Executive Order. Please report those violations at the following link rather than calling 911. These reports will be evaluated and routed to the appropriate agency.

Doesnt it give you a nice warm feeling to know your fellow community members are turning you in to the authorities? Almost as neighborly as the folks hoarding mountains of toilet paper in their garages.

Commenting on the countys post, Ricky Stevens wrote:

This is getting ridiculous. Its in no small part due to the constant stream of mixed messages. Stay-at-home, but please visit your local restaurants for takeout because they need your support more than ever. The county commission issues a sweeping emergency order on Thursday morning, only to have to rescind it that afternoon after the Georgia governor issues his own conflicting one. The governor says the state parks and beaches are open, please visit them to relieve your stress, but Cobb says the parks in the county are closed (through an order that the governor said was invalid) and dont you dare go for a walk on the trails. The CDC says dont wear masks you idiots on second thought, yes, do wear one but you cant wear one thats actually effective because health care workers need them so make your own that probably wont do you much good and if you dont use it correctly it will do more harm than good, but hey the President isnt going to wear one because he doesnt think its necessary. And now Cobb is encouraging citizens to monitor compliance with this mess of conflicting orders and advice?

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AROUND TOWN: About that 80% number ... | Around Town -

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