Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said Wednesday he would allow more businesses to reopen in his state during the coronavirus pandemic, despite President Donald Trump’s advice against it.
“I appreciate his bold leadership and insight during these difficult times and the framework provided by the White House to safely move states forward,” Kemp said in a statement on Twitter.
On Friday, Georgia plans to allow gyms, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, barbershops and hair salons, nail salons and massage therapists to reopen, despite criticism from some local Democrat officials.
“Our next measured step is driven by data and guided by state public health officials,” Kemp wrote. “We will continue with this approach to protect the lives – and livelihoods – of all Georgians.”
Kemp will allow movie theaters and restaurants to reopen on Monday, provided they adhere to heightened levels of social distancing and hygiene.
“Just like the thousands of businesses currently operating throughout Georgia, I am confident that business owners who decide to reopen will adhere to Minimum Basic Operations, which prioritize the health and well-being of employees and customers,” Kemp wrote.
President Trump said he disagreed with Kemp’s plan but said that Georgians should listen to their governor.
“I’d like them to listen to their governors,” Trump said on Thursday. “I have the right to do, if I wanted to clamp it down, but I have respect for our governors. They know what they’re doing, I think.”
Earlier today, I discussed Georgia's plan to reopen shuttered businesses for limited operations with @POTUS. I appreciate his bold leadership and insight during these difficult times and the framework provided by the White House to safely move states forward. (1/3) #gapol
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 22, 2020