Kemp defends lawsuit blocking Atlanta’s mask mandate

Gov. Brian Kemp defended his decision to take legal action to seek to block Atlanta’s mask mandate and other coronavirus restrictions, saying Friday that the “community defeats this virus – not the government.”

“While we all agree that wearing a mask is effective, I’m confident that Georgians don’t need a mandate to do the right thing,” he said, attacking critics who “have decided to play politics.”

He singled out Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who he said has “undermined” business by calling for an “unenforceable” mandates.

The governor filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging Atlanta’s new mask mandate and Bottoms’ decision to revert to “phase one” guidelines that push restaurants to close dining rooms and urge residents to leave home only for essential trips.

More than two dozen states have mandated the use of masks, including GOP governors in Alabama, Texas and West Virginia. Several other Republican-led states have allowed local restrictions. Kemp is the only governor seeking legal action to block the mask requirements.

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