Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Sues to Block Atlanta’s Face Mask Ordinance While Virus Cases Rise


Governor Brian Kemp invalidates Atlanta’s mandatory face mask rules for Covid-19. 

Here is a juicy Coronavirus update from the Peach State: On Thursday, July 16, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp filed a lawsuit against Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. The lawsuit was inspired by the Atlanta mayor’s mask mandate and other firm preventative Coronavirus policies. Just a day before the lawsuit, Kemp issued an executive order that barred local entities from enforcing their own mask mandates. 

Atlanta Mayor Lance Bottoms has been a dominating force in the widespread effort to contain the virus and has taken extreme measures to thwart the spread. Earlier this month, she implemented an order that makes not wearing a mask within city limits punishable by a fine or up to six months in jail. Her hard-line preventative policies are a response to the unsettling, ever-rising number of cases in the state. To date, the state has seen over 3,000 Covid-19 related deaths. Democrat Lance Bottoms’ stringent approach to containing the virus clashes with Republican Kemp’s more lenient, relaxed approach. The virus has only exacerbated political tensions and created a more dramatic, seemingly unbridgeable, chasm between both parties.

Many Georgians are outraged by Kemp’s actions.

Governor Kemp’s lawsuit comes amid a record high spike in cases and has consequently been criticized as undermining the severity of the pandemic and a waste of taxpayer money. Notably, the Republican governor’s mask pushback has also been perceived as racist. People of color, specifically the Black community, are more vulnerable to the virus. Easing restrictions adversely impacts Black Georgians. Amid a movement where Americans are advocating for heightened Black visibility and acceptance, and an increase in the prominence of Black voices, easing Coronavirus precautions seems counterproductive. Cutting back The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recommended safety measures endangers all Americans, but it specifically jeopardizes the Black community.

Only time will tell how Governor Kemp’s Executive Order and imminent lawsuit will impact the state’s Covid-19 cases and the vitality or wellbeing of Black Georgians.