Welcome to Georgia, the state that ranks eighth in population but fourth in new COVID-19 cases.
As the coronavirus spreads across the Peach State, Republican Governor Brian Kemp on Wednesday issued an executive order banning all cities and town from requiring face masks to be worn. Curiously, the directive came just hours after he met with President Donald Trump.
That means at least 15 cities currently requiring face masks now have to rescind those orders.
Face masks have proven to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which is unchecked in the United States, but under control in many other countries across the globe.
Kemp, who some believe effectively stole the gubernatorial election from former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, was one of the last governors to shut down his state. He finally did after falsely suggesting the CDC had just discovered asymptomatic people spread the virus, a fact that was known for at least weeks. Kemp was also the first governor to open up his state. It was a decision so extreme it even drew a rebuke from President Trump. Later his Public Health Department released a graph purportedly showing the spread had slowed – except it had been manipulated, with data out of chronological order.
Now Kemp is banning the requirement to wear a mask, which led to immediate outrage – and many to once again remind Georgia voters Stacey Abrams could have been their governor.
Abrams slammed Kemp on MSNBC Wednesday night, saying Kemp “is too afraid of the consequences of leadership to actually demonstrate any.”
“More than 3,000 Georgians have perished, disproportionately Black and Brown Georgians, and he continues to fiddle while Rome burns,” Abrams continued. “This is not a man who’s capable of leadership.”
"From the beginning of this catastrophe, Brian Kemp has demonstrated that he has absolutely no competency in this process," Stacey Abrams says of the governor's decision to void local mask mandates. "What he continues to do is downplay … the deaths of Georgians." pic.twitter.com/6gl5GPs2GB
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 16, 2020
Some are now calling Gov. Kemp “openly pro-virus.”
Take a look.
"…any state, county, or municipal law, order, ordinance, rule, or regulation that requires persons to wear face coverings, masks, …are suspended to the extent that they are more restrictive than this Executive Order￼."
Brian Kemp is just openly pro-virus now. #gapol #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/L9yFyPwB74
— Marisa (@marisapk) July 15, 2020
I fucking HATE this dude and every time he gets worse it’s just another reminder that Stacey Abrams should be in his seat
— defund the police (@b_i_lingual) July 16, 2020
Georgia could have had Stacey Abrams. Instead they got this. https://t.co/aJXOYI87IC
— Tim Fullerton (@TimFullerton) July 16, 2020
They could've had Stacey Abrams. Instead they got a guy who suppressed votes so he could use his power to hurt people.
Georgia can undo some of the damage this November by electing two Democratic senators. Otherwise, this will only get worse. https://t.co/9uJLDnZkBE
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) July 16, 2020
RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU THINK STACEY ABRAMS WOULD HAVE MANAGED THIS PANDEMIC BETTER.
— SECOND KICK OF A MULE (@NerdsGoSailing) July 16, 2020
Imagine how much better off America would be right now if Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum were Governors of Georgia and Florida right now.
Black votes matter and they should have been counted! pic.twitter.com/CFhjDXFtbi
— Tae Phoenix is an Anti-Fascist ☂️ (@TaePhoenix) July 16, 2020
Brian Kemp has banned Georgia's cities and its counties from ordering people to wear masks in all public places.
He went from committing election fraud after stealing the Governor’s race from Stacey Abrams to actively trying to kill every citizen in his state.
Lock him up.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) July 16, 2020