ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Georgia was one of the last states to close and now one of the first to re-open after Governor Brian Kemp says he would reopen some businesses as early as this Friday.
But mayors across Georgia including Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, and Albany said they had no idea that this was going to happen before the state-wide shelter was set to expires on April 30th and say we are just not ready.
Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri, has reaction from our Georgia Capitol Newsroom.
It’s the trade-off some business owners face — go to work and risk getting sick or stay home, and go broke.
“As a parent, I am concerned because when I look at the data, our numbers are going up. Atlanta mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms says the science just doesn’t add up. “The death rate is up almost 14%, our positive is up 7% and we are not testing asymptomatic people.”
“I have a great working relationship with our governor but I did not speak with him before he made this announcement. I spoke with Mayor Hardie Davis who is the mayor of Augusta — the second largest city in the state, he did not speak with the governor.”
“Those are hub city mayors — leading Georgia’s largest cities — we find ourselves shocked by the decision that took place.”
“I am concerned as a mother and the mayor of our capital city.”
Mayors across Georgia — say it’s too soon to reopen — especially with less than 1-percent of the state tested
“We have to think about Albany, GA — it came from two funerals. I am perplexed that we have opened up in this way.”Keisha Lance Bottoms
Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis said, “His grave concern was around religious places and houses of faith where you saw those initial outbreaks in GA. I don’t know how you get a haircut and keep a safe distance from someone who is cutting your bangs. It does not make sense.”
The battle of health vs wealth continues — as Georgia joins several southern states to reopen the economy.
The Governor’s decision will apply state wide in all jurisdictions which means local action cannot be taken to make it more or less restrictive. Gyms, salons, bowling alleys, body art studios open this Friday. Restaurants and theaters open next Monday.
And bars and clubs stay closed until April 30th.
Former Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate, Stacey Abrams tweeted that Governor Brian Kemp’s response to re-open is “Dangerously incompetent.” Abrams says Georgia has the 14th highest infection in the country with the 7th lowest testing rate and this is forcing thousands of low-wage workers to be at risk.