Speaking with MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski on Friday morning, the former head of the Republican National Committee hammered the Republican governor of Georgia for following Donald Trump's lead and not taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously as their states are swamped with new infections.
To set the stage for Michael Steele, host Brzezinski went off on a rant about the opposition by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to mandating wearing masks to avoid contracting COVID-19, calling the governor's decision "stupidity."
"The stupidity is boundless here, it is truly boundless," she began. "I mean, masks have been determined to keep people safe, it is a legitimate and credible mitigation technique. It even could be possible to help businesses open up and revive the economy if we have uniform social distancing guidelines, mask use, and a number of other measures."
"But since the government has botched this so much, since Trump himself has botched this so much, this governor now is, I don't know, desperately trying to get some attention from Donald Trump," she added. "These idiots, these idiots just want to push against mitigation measures that scientists and doctors that we're having on these shows, all shows, they go on Fox, they all say mask use works, hand sanitizer works, social distancing works."
Asked to respond, Steele began, "There are two words you used that are operative here, stupid and desperate."
"That is a dangerous combination particularly in the hands of a governor who doesn't have the competency to figure out that masks save lives and that masks, particularly when you're in the middle of a surge within your own state are there to make sure you don't lose control of that situation," he continued. "What the Mayor [Keisha Lance Bottoms] is doing, and all she is saying is, 'I'm not shutting down your business, I'm not telling you you can't gather, you can't socialize. I'm saying you have to wear masks in order to protect yourselves and your community.' So there's a political side of this, too, and you put your finger on it at the end there."