Despite an increase in coronavirus deaths in Georgia and President Trump’s rebuke, Governor Brian Kemp is forging ahead with his plans to reopen some nonessential businesses today.
Kemp, one of the last state leaders to issue a coronavirus lockdown, will become one of the nation’s first governors to allow businesses such as gyms, barbershops, hair salons, tattoo parlors, and bowling alleys to reopen.
Among several mayors who have criticized Kemp’s decision to reopen was Atlanta’s Keisha Lance Bottoms, who shared a photo on Twitter of a racist message she received late Wednesday, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.
The message, which included the N-word, told Bottoms to “shut up” and “re-open Atlanta.”
“With my daughter looking over my shoulder, I received this message on my phone,” Bottoms wrote on Twitter. “I pray for you.”
With my daughter looking over my shoulder, I received this message on my phone. I pray for you.
“Conscientious stupidity or sincere ignorance.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr. pic.twitter.com/dOimv9sdN3
— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) April 23, 2020
COVID-19 has claimed almost 900 lives in Atlanta and has infected about 22,000 others, CNN reported.
“When I look at the data, I see our numbers are going up,” Bottoms said. ” … I have searched my head and my heart on this and I am at a loss as to what the governor is basing this decision on.”
On Thursday, Trump ripped the Republican governor over his decision, saying, “I am not happy about Brian Kemp.”
“I want the states to open more than he does. But I do not like at this early stage. I wasn’t happy with it, or with Brian Kemp,” the president said at the daily briefing of the Coronavirus Task Force at the White House.
Trump initially backed Kemp’s move, but slammed him at Wednesday’s briefing over his planned reopenings.
Many entrepreneurs who are eligible to reopen also are worried that Kemp’s plan is too ambitious.
“This is an irresponsible move that is based solely on dollars over science,” Randy Adler, owner of Babs Midtown restaurant, told Agence France-Presse.
“It is not the right thing to do,” added Adler, 58, whose eatery is currently only open for take-out. “We value our staff, we value our clientele, and we value the citizens of Georgia.”
The businesses allowed to reopen Friday must make sure that people wear masks and check customers for symptoms.
Restaurants, theaters and private social clubs may reopen Monday, providing social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines are in place.
Here’s a Video report from a Fox 5 Atlanta