Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Atlanta City Council after they refused to back down from a mandatory mask rule, while also enforcing social distancing rules due to the spike in COVID-19 numbers across Georgia and other southern states.
Kemp’s suit described the mask mandate as excessive and accused Bottoms of “exceeding her authority” in a series of tweets, clumsily aimed to defend the rights and needs of essential workers.
Bottoms tweeted a screenshot of the lawsuit writing, “3104 Georgians have died and I and my family are amongst the 106K who have tested positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, I have been sued by @GovKemp for a mask mandate. A better use of tax payer money would be to expand testing and contact tracing.”
In an interview with CBS This Morning, Mayor Bottoms spoke to the timing of the lawsuit, saying that it occurred very closely after Trump visited the state without wearing a mask.
“It’s really odd that the governor has filed this lawsuit,” she began, reiterating that several jurisdictions across the state have also instituted the mask order.
“It is very clear that the governor is putting politics over people and I join several mayors across our state who will continue to enforce our mask mandate and we will have to fight the governor about this in court,” she said.
Bottoms accused Kemp of being a Trump “loyalist” who works exponentially hard to please the Trump administration.
Bottoms, who is under quarantine after contracting COVID-19 said that she felt the mandate was necessary, as it helps prevent the spread of the virus. She also doubled down regarding her Tweet on Thursday.
“To be sued based upon issuing voluntary advisory recommendations really is just a waste of taxpayer money in our state. We don’t have appropriate contact tracing, we don’t have adequate testing in our state. I personally waited eight days for results, and by the time I got my results when I was tested, it was one person in my household who was asymptomatic and positive. Eight days later my self and my husband were then positive for COVID-19 and my husband being very ill,” she said.
She affirmed that she believes the governor’s actions has caused significant death in the state, which has seen an uptick in numbers, especially in Black communities and among the elderly. Bottoms affirmed the mandatory mask mandate will stand.
“I think that when you are reckless as the governor has been, when you disregard science as the governor has done, then certainly people are suffering and people are dying in our state and our numbers are rising at a record rate,” Mayor Bottoms concluded.