Atlanta Mayor ‘Perplexed’ by Decision to Reopen State: ‘I Don’t See that It’s Based on Anything that’s Logical’

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JULY 07: Mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks onstage during the
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms on Monday said she is “perplexed” by Gov. Brian Kemp’s (R) announcement to begin reopening the state as early as this week, telling CNN, “I don’t see that it’s based on anything that’s logical.”

Kemp told reporters on Monday that the state is “on track to meet the criteria for Phase One” of reopening and will allow some businesses to begin the process on Friday, April 24, with Minimum Basic Operations.

Businesses include gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair salons, and more:

While she said she has a “great working relationship with our governor,” Bottoms told CNN’s Chris Cuomo she was surprised and did not speak to Kemp prior to the announcement. Bottoms added that Mayor Hardie Davis of Augusta, Georgia, did not speak with Kemp about the decision either:

“I’ve spoken with several leaders across this state,” she said. “So we really are at a loss, and I am concerned as a mother and as the mayor of our capital city.”

“I’m perplexed that we have opened up in this way. And again, I can’t stress enough, I work very well with our governor, and I look forward to having a better understanding of what his reasoning is,” Bottoms explained.

“But as I look at the data and as I talk with our public health officials, I don’t see that it’s based on anything that’s logical,” she added.

The state’s stay-at-home order will expire April 30, and restaurants will be able to resume dine-in services, albeit with certain restrictions, beginning Monday, April 27:

“Subject to specific social distancing & sanitation mandates, theaters, private social clubs & restaurant dine-in services will be allowed to reopen on Monday, April 27. We’ll release more information in the next few days,” Kemp announced.

Similarly, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) also announced plans to gradually reopen their respective states.


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