Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he called on local leaders last week, and is calling on them again today to enforce the current executive order instead of “issuing mandates that are confusing and unenforceable.”
“Now I know that many well-intentioned and well-informed Georgians want a mask mandate and while we all agree that wearing a mask is effective, I am confident that Georgians don’t need a mandate to do the right thing,” Kemp said. “I know that Georgians can rise to this challenge, and they will. And I know that Georgians will do their part to defeat this deadly virus.”
Kemp urged local leaders to use their bully pulpit and social platforms to build support for wearing masks.
Earlier in the week, Kemp issued an executive order voiding masks mandates imposed by some local governments. The order also extended the state’s public emergency and said face coverings are “strongly encouraged,” but not required.
“This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times,” Kemp tweeted of his lawsuit. “These men and women are doing their very best to put food on the table for their families while local elected officials shutter businesses and undermine economic growth.”
The lawsuit marks a stunning escalation in the brewing feud between Kemp and Bottoms after the Atlanta mayor introduced her mandatory mask ordinance. Under her order, not wearing a mask within Atlanta’s city limits was punishable by a fine and even up to six months in jail.