Atlanta Mayor On Governor’s Plan To Reopen Georgia Amid Coronavirus Crisis

“I’m at a loss.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp shocked many around the country when he announced his plans to  reopen businesses during the coronavirus pandemic as early as Friday (April 24). 

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms spoke out saying that she is at a loss for words on the untimely decision. 

Bottoms spoke with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday (April 20) and shared her thoughts about where her state is headed in terms of the COVID-19 crisis. 

“As a parent, I am concerned because what I know is that when I look at the data that we received from our public health department each day, our numbers are going up,” Bottoms said. “We get a count at noon and we get one at 7 p.m.”

The Atlanta mayor stated that when looking at the 24 hour period for the 7 p.m. count that they got on Monday evening the death rate increased by 14% and the number of positive cases is up almost 7 percent. 

“We are not testing people who are asymptomatic, with mild symptoms,” she said. “We are really at a loss and I am concerned as a mother and as a mayor of our capital city.”

Gov. Kemp announced on Monday afternoon that some businesses would soon be allowed to reopen but under strict guidelines. 

“For weeks now, our state has taken targeted action to prevent, detect, and address the spread of coronavirus by leveraging data and advice from health officials in the public and private sectors,” Kemp said. “Thanks to this methodical approach and the millions of Georgians who have worked diligently to slow the spread of coronavirus, we are on track to meet the gating criteria for Phase One.” 

Bottoms later released a statement pleading with her Atlanta community to remain sheltered in place.

"More than 19,000 Georgians have tested positive for COVID-19 and the numbers continue to increase," she said. "It is the Governor’s prerogative to make this decision for the state, but I will continue to urge Atlanta to stay at home, stay safe and make decisions based on the best interests of their families."

Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases , stressed the importance of a gradual reopening in a Good Morning America interview on Monday (April 20).

"If you jump the gun, and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you're going to set yourself back," he said. "So as painful as it is to go by the careful guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening — it's going to backfire. That's the problem."

Businesses set to open on Friday (April 24) include gyms, barbershops, and hair salons. By Monday (April 27) theaters and restaurant dine-in services will resume. 

Watch the CNN interview below:

For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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