On Wednesday night, Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed an order saying that the state can’t legally mandate the use of masks to stop the spread of COVID-19. The move came weeks after governments in cities like Athens and Savannah, in addition to at least 15 other local municipalities, issued orders requiring residents to wear masks in public. Shortly after Kemp signed the order, politicians across the states critiqued the decision. Among the critics was former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives Stacey Abrams.
Abrams, who ran against Kemp in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial, appeared on MSNBC to speak about the reversal.
Kemp’s order states that residents and visitors are “strongly encouraged to wear face coverings as practicable” in public.
As of July 15, there were over 118,000 reported COVID-19 cases in the state of Georgia. Over 3,000 Georgia residents have died from the disease in recent months. Abrams says Governor Kemp is blocking progress “while Rome burns.”
“From the beginning of this catastrophe, Brian Kemp has demonstrated that he has absolutely no competency in this process,” she said. “What he continues to do is downplay deaths of Georgians.”
Many Georgia residents took to social media to point out that Abrams is proving to be a more worthy governor than Kemp.
“This is insane, irresponsible,” former Attorney General Eric Holder tweeted, along with an article about the mask order. “Georgia, you could have had Stacey Abrams.”
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