Mayor Bottoms: Atlanta’s Mask Mandate Stands Despite Kemp’s Order

Keisha Lance Bottoms said during a press conference Thursday she'd fight the Governor in court if needed.

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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Thursday via a digital press conference responded to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s Wednesday Executive Order that struck down her mask mandate saying “the city still has appropriate standing to mandate masks.”

If she has to, the Mayor said she is willing to go to court over Kemp’s order which “suspended” Bottoms’ mask mandate. “State, county, or municipal law, order, ordinance, rule, or regulation that requires persons to wear face coverings, masks, face shields, or any other Personal Protective Equipment while in places of public accommodation or on public property are suspended to the extent that they are more restrictive than this Executive Order,” Kemp wrote in Wednesday’s order.

Kemp’s office on Thursday did not immediately respond to What Now Atlanta’s (WNA) request for comment.

“You all know I love to quote Audre Lorde, she says, ‘I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.’ So I am not afraid of the city being sued and I’ll put our policies up against anyone’s any day of the week,” Bottoms said in the press conference.

It’s unclear how the City of Atlanta plans on enforcing the mask mandate. The Mayor’s office has not responded to multiple requests for comment by WNA regarding the matter.

[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

24 Responses

  1. She ain’t got a leg to stand on and she knows it although I do agree with her and think masks are necessary.

    1. People are going to ignore Kemp. They know he is actively trying to kill people and is just sucking up to the psychopath in the white supremacist house. Perhaps that’s his game. Kemp is trying to kill black people and minorities because he knows they suffer more from the virus. Kemp cheated to steal the election by suppressing the black vote so why not go a step further and just start killing them. Hopefully people are smarter than this. People know wearing their masks in public is the only tool we have to fight the Trump Virus since Republicans are trying to kill as many people as possible before November

      1. It’s one thing to disagree with Kemp, even vehemently, but this post is legitimately insane.

        1. A little extreme, but politicians’ indifference and negligence is certainly leading to excess deaths in this situation. I can’t help but feel that indifference is partially fueled by a perception that the virus isn’t affecting “their people” (initially it was mainly affecting cities and rural minorities). In this country we forgot that politicians aren’t just mascots – sometimes they’re called to make life and death decisions on our behalf.

          1. I don’t think it’s indifference, I think it’s very intentional.
            The mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging anti-science crew think this is a giant
            conspiracy put on by the liberals.
            Just look at their leader in the White House– he’s made this out to be a conspiracy since day one.

            1. Defending Gov. Clownshoes is the last thing I want to do, but one person’s “indifference and negligence” can be another person’s good faith effort to balance the virus against protecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. It’s incredibly reckless and frankly disgusting to say he’s “trying to kill black people.”
              Since Kemp lifted the stay at home on April 23, there’s been a chorus of the “wait two weeks” crowd claiming we’re on the verge of mass death thanks to his exercise in human sacrifice … except it never happened. Check out the daily deaths charts, especially the 7-day average. There’s no way to look at that chart and identify when the lockdown was lifted. You can see a post-protest spike but deaths are still lower three months post lockdown. Disagree with Kemp all you want but if he’s trying to mass murder people he’s not doing a good job.

      2. Ignore kemp? Ignore what exactly? He says you should wear masks, but does not want to mandate it.. If you decide to wear a mask you are listening to Kemps advice, if you don’t wear a mask you are ignoring Kemp, but not breaking state law.

        1. Ignore what exactly?

          The part where Kemp said mask orders implemented by cities were invalid.
          Sure he’s saying that you SHOULD wear a mask, but he’s also giving cover to the many individuals and businesses that don’t want to – even when it endangers others.

          1. Sure.. but my point still stands.. he said “people are going to ignore” not cities, so still doesn’t make sense.. And as for cities, even if they want to enforce the use of wearing a mask in public and defying the state, there are not enough officers for that, also my feeling right now is that local police, such as the APD are not feeling much love for their mayors right now anyway.. And crime is high, you think their concern is watching who is not wearing a mask in public?

            1. All fair points. I don’t disagree. Except hasn’t crime dropped off this year? There’s a lot of tension, and a lot of high profile cases that make the news for one reason or another, but it was my understanding that crime is actually down.

              1. Yea no idea honestly if crime overall has dropped this year so far.. But my feeling, based on what iv’e seen and read so far is quite a spike this month and last month in overall crime. I guess time will tell, and we will get a clearer picture later on.

                1. Ran across an article that seemed to – at least partially – answer this.
                  Compared to last year, the take-away seems to be: less arrests (attributable to the police sick-out and increased caution in light of evolving rules of engagement), less violet crimes (especially burglary, rape, and robbery), many more shootings, and about the same amount of murders (apparently the shooters aren’t especially accurate).

            2. The thing is, if COA had/has a mandatory mask order, then restaurants, and businesses wouldn’t have to have ad nauseam conversations/arguments with customers as to why it’s important to their employees, and fellow
              customers, that you wear a mask.A lot of these people are in minimum wage positions, and are still considered essential. So basically they don’t have a lot of choice about whether they go to work or not.
              Kemp thinks that making masks mandatory in the COA is going to bring
              businesses to a grinding halt– it won’t. Kemp wants business as usual so that unemployment etc doesn’t bankrupt the state. I understand that, and I also
              understand that the COA is a very different area than rural cities.
              I trust the GA city’s mayors to make the right decision for their communities.
              It’s a mask FFS. We’ve all gotta stop at stop signs, motorcyclists must wear a helmet, we all gotta wear a seatbelt, etc.
              It’s just a mask!?!?
              Why can’t we all just work together and try and put an end to this disease? Geez, you’d think your guns were being taken away from you or something…
              Have some respect for your fellow citizens, and wear a mask in public places where social distancing isn’t an option!

          2. Yes, he is saying the cities can not force you to wear a mask, not that you shouldn’t. This is because some of these mandates are restrictive to businesses, Atlanta tried to roll back opening and shut businesses too. With GA slammed with unemployment. Atlanta is going to have mass evictions as soon as the courts reopen, etc.
            We can’t continue with just fighting a virus without fixing these other things. 10% of the state has likely had the virus, the only 0.16% of the state has had the virus bad enough to seek help. However 17% of the state is unable to pay bills and/or work. Many are unable to pay rent and mortgages. You can’t fix just one thing because the others aren’t important to you.

            1. That all sounds very complicated. What’s not complicated is just wearing a mask during a global pandemic. (And not interfering with efforts to get more people to wear them).

      3. The reason mask-wearing should be mandated is because not wearing a mask puts others at risk. If not wearing a mask only potentially hurt the person not wearing a mask, then Kemp’s recommendation would make complete sense. But since one person deciding not to wear a mask increases the risk for other people, it should be mandatory for everyone. Mayor Bottoms is taking her responsibility for the health and safety of her constituents seriously.

        1. Mayor Bottoms is taking her responsibility for the health and safety of her constituents seriously.

          By getting Covid and then going to a press conference with a room full of people and taking her mask off exposing people to the virus? On what planet is that behavior responsible?

          1. How many times are you going to post this?
            I guess I’ll re-hash all these points:
            Obviously she wasn’t aware she had Covid at the time or she’d have been in self-quarantine.
            Taking your mask off while giving addresses is the norm.
            Here’s Angela Merkel doing it (in a country with 300 new daily cases compared to our 60,000 per day):
            Here’s Kemp doing it:
            In any case, it has no bearing on whether the policies she’s implementing are based on best practices for health and safety.

            1. She knew she was very likely Covid-19 positive and has even admitted such. Neither Kemp nor Merkel have Covid-19 or have gone to a press conference Covid-19 positive and become a super spreader. Your excuses and deflections won’t work here. She was extremely negligent and can’t be trusted on anything Covid-19 related.

              1. She knew she was very likely Covid-19 positive and has even admitted such. 

                I think I would have remembered her ‘admitting’ that– got a source?

                1. Yeah, that’s a big accusation which I’m sure will be continue to be backed by absolutely no evidence…

  2. LOL she doesn’t know how this works. This is ignominious at this point. We have a Mayor who doesn’t understand the hierarchy of government.

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