Atlanta mayor calls governor's executive order 'political theatrics'

A day after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced that he had signed an executive order essentially negating local COVID-19 ordinances statewide, Atlanta's mayor shot back.

"It was all for show because the executive order that I signed is very clear on what you can and cannot require," said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. "So, the governor didn't even have to sign that executive order, but we're entering political season and you'll see political theatrics and I'm going to put this in that category."

Gov. Kemp said he took executive action because he was "concerned" about what was happening in Atlanta and Savannah.  Both cities recently re-instituted mask mandates because of an increase in COVID-19 cases.  

The governor's executive order bars cities and counties from requiring private businesses to enforce restrictions like mask mandate, vaccine requirements and indoor capacity limits.

RELATED: Georgia coronavirus surge leads to new local restrictions

"Local governments will not be able to force businesses to be the city's mask police, the vaccine police or any other burdensome restriction that will only lead to employees being let go, revenue tanking and businesses closing their doors," Gov. Kemp said Thursday.

Mayor Bottoms, however, argued that many business owners were happy the city renewed its mask policy.

"What's most frustrating to me is I've had a number of business owners and employees, workers, to say that they appreciate the guidelines that we put in place because it removes the burden on them to have to individually ask people to put on masks when they come in their businesses," said Bottoms.  

She encouraged people to get vaccinated and to continue to wear masks indoors. 

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