Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is again ignoring the recommendations of scientists and health experts when he signed an executive order essentially negating local COVID-19 ordinances statewide. Kemp has been widely criticized for defying mask mandates and Covid protocols, choosing instead to risk the health and wellbeing of Georgians for political grandstanding and businesses as the virus rages throughout the state.
The governor’s newly signed executive order bars cities and counties from requiring private businesses to enforce restrictions like mask mandate, vaccine requirements and indoor capacity limits. “Local governments will not be able to force businesses to be the city’s mask police, the vaccine police or any other burdensome restriction that will only lead to employees being let go, revenue tanking and businesses closing their doors,” Gov. Kemp said Thursday, Aug. 19.
Mayor Keisha Bottoms is opposing the governor’s actions which as much fervor as she did during the height of the first surge in Covid cases.
“[The order] was all for show because the executive order that I signed is very clear on what you can and cannot require,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “So, the governor didn’t even have to sign that executive order, but we’re entering political season and you’ll see political theatrics and I’m going to put this in that category,” Bottoms explained.
“What’s most frustrating to me is I’ve had a number of business owners and employees, workers, to say that they appreciate the guidelines that we put in place because it removes the burden on them to have to individually ask people to put on masks when they come in their businesses,” said Bottoms.
She encouraged people to get vaccinated and to continue to wear masks indoors.