Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) has been criticized for his plan to allow some Georgia businesses to start re-opening on Friday April 24th. Further, Governor Kemp’s plan allows theatres and dine-in restaurants to re-open on Monday April 27th, three days ahead of the expiration of the state’s shelter-in-place order. South Carolina is the only state to allow businesses to re-open sooner than Georgia. These moves come amidst cross-country protests by people suffering economic loss due to the economic shutdowns.
CRITICISM OF PLAN
Criticism of the Governor’s plan has come from all sides of the spectrum. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) noted that her authority does not supersede that of the Governor’s, but she is urging residents to “Please stay home… Follow the data, look at the science, listen to the healthcare professionals and use your common sense.” Additional criticism has come from members of Governor Kemp’s own party, including President Donald Trump and Georgia Congressman Doug Collins. During the latest White House coronavirus news conference, President Trump stated, “I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities.”
SUPPORT FOR THE PLAN
Georgia’s two Senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler (both Republicans) are supporting the Governor’s plan to allow businesses to re-open. Senator Loeffler said, “The Governor has been very thoughtful in undertaking this decision. He’s being guided by leading health officials. This is very gradual and data-driven.” Dr. Kathleen Toomey, the state public health commissioner also backs the Governor’s plan. They believe this is a measured approach that helps struggling businesses survive while not adding any significant dangers.