Some governors who previously refused to impose mask requirements are finally doing so because a surge in infections has left them no choice, but Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is running in the entirely opposite direction.
Georgia's brain genius governor has just signed an order that prohibits the state's most populous cities from imposing a requirement to wear masks and voids requirements that were already in place.
Kemp’s move is likely to infuriate local officials in communities that had acted, including Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Rome and the governor’s hometown of Athens-Clarke County. Overall, mask orders by Wednesday were covering 1.4 million of Georgia’s more than 10 million residents.
Savannah Mayor Van Johnson was the first local official to defy Kemp and order masks, and had said police would start writing $500 citations to businesses that didn’t enforce the law.
“It is officially official. Governor Kemp does not give a damn about us,” Johnson wrote on Twitter Wednesday night. “Every man and woman for himself/herself. Ignore the science and survive the best you can.”
I more or less expect Republican governors to tell people they can make their own decisions about wearing a mask because, you know, that's Freedumb!
But telling local governments they can't require people to wear masks? I did not have this on my pandemic bingo card.
Fresh outbreaks in Georgia should be laid at Kemp's feet and everyone should remember this the next time Republicans tell you they prefer local control of government. Georgia's current outbreak is on par with Texas on a per capita basis.