Georgia couple dies within hours of one another from COVID-19

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — The community spread of COVID-19 in Georgia is now considered substantial, according to a new federal report, as cases quickly continue to rise across the state.

The latest White House COVID-19 Task Force report shows cases are up 88% since last week, while the hospitalization rate is up 54% and the death rate is up 81%.

Martin Daniel, 53, and his wife Trina Daniel, 49, are two of the Georgia deaths due to COVID-19 this year. They were married for 22 years and died within three hours of each other in Savannah on the same day, July 6, according to their family. They are now caring for and raising money for the couple’s 18-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter who lost both parents right before the start of the school year.

“Within a couple of days, they were no longer with us,” said family member Melanie Daniel from her home in Henry County.

Martin Daniel was a Tuskegee University graduate, according to his family. The government’s syphilis experiments on Black men during the 1930s influenced his and his wife’s decision not to get vaccinated.

“Just tying these two events together and understanding the historical context of what’s going on,” said Cornelius Daniel, his nephew, “it really wears on me sometimes.”

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He says the dark chapter in American history also made him hesitant at first, until he and his wife got vaccinated to protect themselves and their family.

“It’s imperative that we see the importance of the vaccinations,” he said.

Since July 5, there has been a 505% increase in confirmed cases reported per day, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Also, there has been a 39% decrease in the number of people getting vaccinated per day over that same time period.

“We’ve had to deal with a lot of loss simply because of choice to be vaccinated versus not,” said Melanie Daniel.