- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Monday that Gov. Brian Kemp’s aggressive approach to reopening the state’s economy has not been “as bad” as she predicted.

Appearing on MSNBC, the Democratic mayor was asked by anchor Brian Williams whether she was willing to admit she was “wrong” for criticizing Mr. Kemp’s reopening plan.

“Is it a little muddier than being able to say, ‘I was right’ or ‘I was wrong’?” Mr. Williams asked the mayor. “Are we as of the time of this conversation somewhere in the middle, do you think?”

Ms. Bottoms responded, “Well, what I can say, Brian, is it’s not as bad as I thought that it would be.”

“So, I am pleased about that, but I still think it’s too soon to say,” she continued. “The reason being, whereas initially, we were seeing increases between deaths and people testing positive, rising anywhere from 25 to 30 percent over a seven-day period. Right now we’re somewhere between 12 and 15%. And it’s better than it was, but it’s still not great. We’ve still not seen that 14-day decline, as recommended by the CDC.

“So, we’re not quite there where I can say that we are out of the woods, because we are not,” she added. “Because what we know, as we reopen this state, we’ll also see whether or not this impacts our number of people who are testing positive.”

Last month, Mr. Kemp became the first governor in the country to allow the reopening of gyms, hair salons, movie theaters, and dine-in restaurants, while most states remained under strict stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The aggressive reopening even caught criticism from President Trump, who said on April 22 that he disagreed with Mr. Kemp’s decision to reopen so soon.

At the time, Ms. Bottoms urged Atlanta residents to remain isolated at home regardless of the governor’s plan.

“It appears the governor’s order supersedes anything I can do as mayor, but I still have my voice and what I will continue to do is ask Atlantans to please stay at home,” the mayor said.

While many predicted the reopening to cause a spike in deaths, Georgia has reported a gradual downward trend in new daily cases ever since.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide