For much of the spring and summer, it seems like a number of governors–mostly Republican–have been in a race to determine who is the most incompetent. These governors have done little to nothing to hold back the spread of the virus, and in some cases have actually made it harder to flatten the curve. For awhile, there was some debate on who “leads” this race. Was it Florida’s Ron DeSantis? Georgia’s Brian Kemp? Texas’s Greg Abbott? Alabama’s Kay Ivey? Or Arizona’s Doug Ducey?
Last night, Kemp more than likely ended that race when he barred local governments from requiring masks in public. No, this isn’t snark. WXIA-TV in Atlanta has more details.
As part of an extension of an earlier executive order intended to fight the pandemic, Kemp barred city and county governments from requiring citizens to wear masks in public. While Kemp has argued for some time that local governments can’t take any steps more restrictive than those spelled out in his order, this is the first time that he has explicitly banned local governments from requiring masks.
Never mind that Georgia has seen some of the biggest spikes in coronavirus cases since the nation began reopening this spring. Never mind that Georgia residents planning on traveling to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Never mind that hospitals around the state are scrambling to keep up with the mounting case counts. Never mind that most Georgia kids go back to school in less than a month.
Apparently none of those considerations were enough to stop Kemp from keeping local governments from taking a rudimentary step to keep their citizens safe. If this leads to a disaster in the Peach State, Wednesday night will go down in infamy.
But incredibly, there are people actually applauding Kemp for this reckless move. One of them is former Secret Service agent turned rabidly pro-Trump radio host Dan Bonigno.
Excuse me, Dan? Kemp hamstrung cities from doing something that medical experts agree will put a significant dent in the spread of the virus, and you think he “leads from the front”? You have a really funny definition of leadership.
Perhaps Bonigno wouldn’t have been so willing to pat Kemp on the back if he’d sat down with a friend of mine in Georgia whose husband is a teacher. She’s absolutely petrified for him, since he is high risk for the virus. While his district will provide teachers with masks and face shields, a lot of parents in his district have been swayed by fake news about masks doing more harm than good. As far as she’s concerned, if this agitprop leads to her husband getting sick or dying, those peddling it will be complicit in it.
Kemp had a chance to counter this garbage by setting an example–and blew it eight ways to Sunday. When a governor actually hinders efforts to keep his people safe, he’s leading from somewhere–and it definitely isn’t the front.
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