The economic downturn sparked by stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 situation has moved many to urge states to reopen businesses against the advice of medical professionals. Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia is rushing to open businesses early as this week, although owners in the city of Atlanta intend to ignore the call.
Kemp, who has been pegged as an avid supporter of President Donald Trump, shared in a Monday (April 20) news conference that certain businesses in the state can reopen, namely hair and barber salons, movie theaters, and some restaurants.
Despite the growing number of decorated public health officials who have shot down the timeline of Trump in reopening the economy, a small but vocal group of Americans, largely right-leaning by observation alone, are using the president’s own “LIBERATE” messaging to stage protests at the risk of the public’s health.
While one data model touted by the White House notes that the state hit its peak in infections earlier in the month, that same model suggests that Georgians shouldn’t expect a return to normalcy until after June 15. If Kemp’s order goes as plan, a risk for reinfections or a spike of infections could occur again. And it isn’t just Republican governors who are feeling the pressure to reopen.
Gov. John Bel Edwards of Lousiana is eyeing plans to open salons, gyms, and other public spaces as the state monitors the numbers. Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois has made similar statements of a slow reopening of certain segments of the state.
In a report from The Daily Beast, Atlanta business owners are not going along with Gov. Kemp’s call to open this Friday.
“I am mortified and appalled he would open us up in the middle of our coronavirus peak,” Jamie Booth said. Booth is a hairstylist and owner of Melange Hair Salon in Grant Park.