Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp appears either to be losing focus on the goal of saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic or waging a personal war against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
On Thursday, July 16, 2020, Kemp filed a lawsuit against Bottoms after she signed an executive order mandating that all residents wear face masks or coverings while in public places in the city of Atlanta.
Kemp claimed that the mandate was not enforceable, but Bottoms continued to uphold her order.
“As the Mayor of the City of Atlanta, Mayor Bottoms does not have the legal authority to modify, change or ignore Governor Kemp’s executive orders,” the lawsuit claims. “This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times.”
After learning of the lawsuit, Bottoms responded on social media.
“3,104 Georgians have died and I and my family are amongst the 106k who have tested positive for COVID-19 (sic),” she wrote on Twitter. “A better use of taxpayer money would be to expand testing and contact tracing.”
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. #ATLStrong pic.twitter.com/z4hpTrCS1B
— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) July 16, 2020
Bottoms is not the only politician upset about Kemp’s lawsuit. Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, who was the first city leader in Georgia to issue a face mask mandate, blasted Kemp for the lawsuit.
“It is officially official. Governor Kemp does not give a damn about us,” Johnson said on Twitter after the lawsuit was made public. “Every man and woman for himself/herself. Ignore the science and survive the best you can.”
It is officially official. Governor Kemp does not give a damn about us. Every man and woman for himself/herself. Ignore the science and survive the best you can.
In #Savannah, we will continue to keep the faith and follow the science. Masks will continue to be available!
— Mayor Van Johnson (@MayorJohnsonSAV) July 16, 2020
Bottoms took aim at the President of the United States, who made a visit to Atlanta on July 15 and did not wear a face mask. Hours after Bottoms’ statement against the president, Kemp filed the lawsuit seeking to uphold his previous executive order that cities and counties in Georgia cannot mandate wearing face masks.