Friday on CNN, former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams said Gov. Brian Kemp’s (R-GA) opposition of mask mandates was an “act of cowardice.”
Kemp defeated Abrams in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election.
Host Kate Bolduan said, “You hit on one of the reasons that the governor gives for why he doesn’t mandate masks because he said it can’t be enforced. But another reason he’s laid out more than once is that he thinks mask mandates hurt business. Do you see that?”
Abrams said, “Given that the largest retailer in the country and in the world, Walmart, are going to require masks undermines even that argument. It is not sufficient to say that he wants to reopen the economy by killing our consumers, and that is the choice he’s telling us to make. And while he’s using Atlanta as a proxy for this war, this is a war against Savannah, Augusta, a war against the people of Georgia who elected him to lead, not to suggest.”
Bolduan said, “It is a bit head-scratching because if you take it on face, the position is confusing. He’s encouraging people to wear masks. He even went on a statewide tour to promote mask-wearing. But still, he does not see, and he will not mandate it. I’m trying to figure out, look, you ran against him in a contentious governor’s race, so you’ve been around his politics more than most, you could explain that contradiction or confusion of how he’s laying this out.”
Abrams said, “This isn’t confusion. Brian Kemp is a coward. He’s afraid he’ll alienate the president of the United States who has symbolized his ambivalence about masks. He is afraid he might alienate a Republican Party may not stand with him in re-election if he goes against the minority declaring that masks are somehow an infringement on their liberty. But most of all, he’s a coward because he refuses to use the pulpit of leadership to tell people what they need to do to save their lives but the vulnerable around them. This is not a moment of contradiction. It is not a moment of confusion. It is an act of cowardice.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN