Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms tells people to ignore Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen businesses: ‘There is nothing essential about a bowling alley or a manicure’

Keisha Bottoms

Dear Commons Community,

Keisha Bottoms, the Mayor of Atlanta, is urging her constituents to stay at home to contain the coronavirus through social distancing and ignore  Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen Georgia’s economy.   On April 20th, less than three weeks into his stay-home order, Kemp announced shelter-in-place would end and businesses all over the state, including gyms, nail salons, and bowling alleys, would reopen as soon as April 27. 

“Stay home. Listen to the scientists,” Bottoms told George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” on Friday. “There is nothing essential about going to a bowling alley or getting a manicure in the middle of a pandemic.” 

Bottoms told Stephanopoulos that Kemp had not explained to her how his decision was guided by science or experts, and the mayor said Georgia doesn’t have its infection rate under control. Kemp has a history of ignoring science, claiming he only realized the virus could be transmitted by asymptomatic people in early April — weeks after this crucial fact was widely known. 

I’m looking at data that shows that our numbers are not going down,” Bottoms said. “Our death rate is continuing to go up … To make an assumption that we are out of the woods is not based on anything other than a desire to open up businesses.” 

She added, “There are some who are willing to sacrifice lives for the sake of the economy and that is unacceptable to me.” 

The mayor said her city is attempting to financially support workers and businesses most severely impacted by the economic shutdown, including beauty salons and barber shops. 

The lift of Georgia’s lockdown was met with backlash and health experts have warned that reopening too quickly without sufficient testing and contact tracing could mean a second, potentially more devastating wave of infections.

Trump initially supported Kemp’s move, but later reversed his position and said he told Kemp he “strongly” disagreed with the reopening. 

Congratulations to Mayor Bottoms!


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