Courtesy Washington Post Live

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in an afternoon interview with The Washington Post Live that Georgia is going in the “opposite direction” when it comes to social distancing measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
“Our numbers are continuing to rise,” Bottoms said, noting that the latest figures show the state has 24,615 confirmed cases and 1,026 related deaths. “We are lifting our foot off the pedal and we’re not out of the woods.”
Bottoms said over the last three days, Grady Hospital has seen an increase in the number of people coming in and testing positive for coronavirus.
Bottoms said states like New York and Washington had COVID-19 figures trending in the right direction thanks to social distancing measures. “We’re going in the opposite direction,” the mayor said about Georgia.
While Atlanta has the bed capacity for COVID-19 patients, the mayor said it defied logic – and health experts – that those beds would be used by people who got sick because they were bored and wanted to go a bowling alley.
Bottoms was referencing Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to begin reopening businesses like bowling alleys, hair salons, barbershops, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, restaurant dining rooms, and movie theaters. Bottoms said she and other Georgia mayors were not consulted by Kemp and his order to reopen businesses cannot be countermanded at the local level.
“My options and powers are limited against Gov. Kemp’s move, but I do have the authority to use my voice and encourage people to stay home,” Bottoms said as the governor’s shelter-in-place order is set to expire on April 30.
Bottoms said she understood “people who are dealing with whether or not to go back to work to put food on their table, but I don’t understand people going to a movie theater or bowling alley because they’re bored.”
“Some people are just tired of being in the house and they want to go back to life as normal – getting their nails done and a haircut,” she said. “People are making tough economic decision to stay at home and preserve their health. It’s a very difficult dynamic people are having to choose.”
Asked about the racial disparity in access to testing in Atlanta, Bottoms said there were now testing facilities in predominantly African-American communities, but the issue is the racial disparity that is impacting the state as a whole. She cited a story in the Washington Post that said African Americans accounted for more than 50 percent of Georgia’s deaths, despite making up about 30 percent of the state’s 10.6 million people.
“This virus is discriminating against people of color, because African-American communities have a higher rate of infection with underlying conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure,” Bottoms said.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

20 replies on “Atlanta Mayor: State is going in the “opposite direction” on social distancing to combat COVID-19”

  1. Is as usual he didn’t open up tennis courts I bet his family is still sheltering in he didn’t open up golf courses because that’s what they like to do is GERD at the black community as usual the things that he open are things black folks do. But at some point in time we have to take responsibility for using god-given common sense. Really appreciate you sister call your diligence and hard work he’ll keep us safe. God bless you and your family. God bless humanity.

  2. Is as usual he didn’t open up tennis courts I bet his family is still sheltering in he didn’t open up golf courses because that’s what they like to do is GERD at the black community as usual the things that he open are things black folks do. But at some point in time we have to take responsibility for using god-given common sense. Really appreciate you sister call your diligence and hard work he’ll keep us safe. God bless you and your family. God bless humanity.

  3. Thank you Mayor Keisha for your sensibility during Gov. Kemp’s dangerous and short-sighted push to open public places. It seems that people in general just don’t get it when it comes to how deadly this illness can be to others. I work at a car dealership, which has been deemed “essential “. I am amazed at how many people have defied stay at home orders and continue to show up for “essential “ repairs. If you’re not supposed to be out driving around, then can’t those repairs just wait until it’s less unsafe? Everyone is supposed to wear masks or face coverings in public, but where do we get them? Shoot, I haven’t seen a roll of TOILET PAPER for sale in over a MONTH. I won’t be eating in a restaurant for the foreseeable future, yet people think bowling is a good idea? Have you ever tried to bowl wearing GLOVES? My wife and I appreciate your leadership, and wish someone could talk some sense into our Governor and President through this troubling global event. The economy doesn’t matter if we’re all DEAD!!

  4. Thank you Mayor Keisha for your sensibility during Gov. Kemp’s dangerous and short-sighted push to open public places. It seems that people in general just don’t get it when it comes to how deadly this illness can be to others. I work at a car dealership, which has been deemed “essential “. I am amazed at how many people have defied stay at home orders and continue to show up for “essential “ repairs. If you’re not supposed to be out driving around, then can’t those repairs just wait until it’s less unsafe? Everyone is supposed to wear masks or face coverings in public, but where do we get them? Shoot, I haven’t seen a roll of TOILET PAPER for sale in over a MONTH. I won’t be eating in a restaurant for the foreseeable future, yet people think bowling is a good idea? Have you ever tried to bowl wearing GLOVES? My wife and I appreciate your leadership, and wish someone could talk some sense into our Governor and President through this troubling global event. The economy doesn’t matter if we’re all DEAD!!

  5. I have blood pressure and i got 4 grown kids and 2 got high risk medical issues my older son have serve hemophilia A blood disorder and my last baby girl who 18 she have diabetes we can get sick fast i think i had covid-19 3/7/2020 but they didn’t have the test then im staying in the house

  6. I have blood pressure and i got 4 grown kids and 2 got high risk medical issues my older son have serve hemophilia A blood disorder and my last baby girl who 18 she have diabetes we can get sick fast i think i had covid-19 3/7/2020 but they didn’t have the test then im staying in the house

  7. Thank you so much Mayor Bottoms. I love that you have a voice and you are using it to fight for health and human safety. My family and loved ones who reside in other states are concerned about me because my state has lifted certain restrictions. Once someone goes to get their hair or nails done they are going to want to show it off thereby illiminating social distancing by performing the act and then by showing it off. It doesn’t make any since why the Governor would open up business rather than focus on getting them financing so they dont have to put their lives in jeopardy.

  8. Thank you so much Mayor Bottoms. I love that you have a voice and you are using it to fight for health and human safety. My family and loved ones who reside in other states are concerned about me because my state has lifted certain restrictions. Once someone goes to get their hair or nails done they are going to want to show it off thereby illiminating social distancing by performing the act and then by showing it off. It doesn’t make any since why the Governor would open up business rather than focus on getting them financing so they dont have to put their lives in jeopardy.

  9. Mayor Bottoms, continue to let your conscience be your guiding light. We elected you because of the integrity you bring to the office, so continue to stand fast and lift your voice for what you know is right. We love you and support you on this issue. Governor Kemp is yielding to the political pressure that’s being applied to him without consideration for the most vulnerable of all people, the Black folks, who are the minority in number but the majority in spending!!! Yeah I said it and the TRUTH only makes you stronger or make you quit. This is not a duplicate post!!!

  10. Mayor Bottoms, continue to let your conscience be your guiding light. We elected you because of the integrity you bring to the office, so continue to stand fast and lift your voice for what you know is right. We love you and support you on this issue. Governor Kemp is yielding to the political pressure that’s being applied to him without consideration for the most vulnerable of all people, the Black folks, who are the minority in number but the majority in spending!!! Yeah I said it and the TRUTH only makes you stronger or make you quit. This is not a duplicate post!!!

  11. Mayor Bottoms should note that any ‘surge’ now appearing st Grady must represent victims who have become infected at least 14 days ago.
    The only real test of any potential negative effects to Kemp’s actions would be the index of cases two weeks AFTER Kemp began reopening the economy.
    I suppose Bottoms would be perfectly happy to keep everyone locked down until November – to give undeserved traction to the ridiculous ‘vote by mail’ scheme.

    Georgia businesses need to start earning, lest they be forced out of business.
    Bottoms needs to step out of the way of progress.

  12. Mayor Bottoms should note that any ‘surge’ now appearing st Grady must represent victims who have become infected at least 14 days ago.
    The only real test of any potential negative effects to Kemp’s actions would be the index of cases two weeks AFTER Kemp began reopening the economy.
    I suppose Bottoms would be perfectly happy to keep everyone locked down until November – to give undeserved traction to the ridiculous ‘vote by mail’ scheme.
    Georgia businesses need to start earning, lest they be forced out of business.
    Bottoms needs to step out of the way of progress.

  13. It Will now be everyone’s own decision to do what’s right .We can no Longer Blame other’s for our personal .Decisions. I have Lost 7 people I Know personal un New York City my Home Town .I have Lost One persin I love Dearly Here in Georgia.where.I resign for 13 years. From this VIRUS .I Have 3 more that hace this VIRUS. And are fighting for their lives .1 in Philadelphia Pa and 2 in New Youk City .This VIRUS is Real in Real Time .I am Following GOOD ORDERLY DIRECTION ( GOD) even after Authority’s say its Gone.

  14. It Will now be everyone’s own decision to do what’s right .We can no Longer Blame other’s for our personal .Decisions. I have Lost 7 people I Know personal un New York City my Home Town .I have Lost One persin I love Dearly Here in Georgia.where.I resign for 13 years. From this VIRUS .I Have 3 more that hace this VIRUS. And are fighting for their lives .1 in Philadelphia Pa and 2 in New Youk City .This VIRUS is Real in Real Time .I am Following GOOD ORDERLY DIRECTION ( GOD) even after Authority’s say its Gone.

  15. I so agree with our mayor. This virus is not a joke. People wore masks and did the social distancing for a minute because it was socially acceptable. I work for a major grocery retailer in Atlanta. Last Friday it was like all was fine. People coming in – no masks on or on their kids, ignoring those stickers on the floor promoting distancing. And, just repeating to all, follow commen sense. If you are lacking in that department ask someone. Don’t play with your life or the lives of others. That is what our sorry excuse of a Governor is doing. Keep in mind that he has been about keeping his tax flow on alcohol sales flowing. If that hasn’t been one of his undercover priorities the grocery stores would have been shut down at 6p reinforcing the shelter in place order. Emergency purchases are NOT beer and Doritos at 8:45 when a store is closing at 9p.What a coincidence, restaurants and bowling alleys sell alcohol. Just because some “good old boy” says go for it use caution. He doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about who lives or dies. Maybe he should take up bowling – excessively.

  16. I so agree with our mayor. This virus is not a joke. People wore masks and did the social distancing for a minute because it was socially acceptable. I work for a major grocery retailer in Atlanta. Last Friday it was like all was fine. People coming in – no masks on or on their kids, ignoring those stickers on the floor promoting distancing. And, just repeating to all, follow commen sense. If you are lacking in that department ask someone. Don’t play with your life or the lives of others. That is what our sorry excuse of a Governor is doing. Keep in mind that he has been about keeping his tax flow on alcohol sales flowing. If that hasn’t been one of his undercover priorities the grocery stores would have been shut down at 6p reinforcing the shelter in place order. Emergency purchases are NOT beer and Doritos at 8:45 when a store is closing at 9p.What a coincidence, restaurants and bowling alleys sell alcohol. Just because some “good old boy” says go for it use caution. He doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about who lives or dies. Maybe he should take up bowling – excessively.

  17. I TOTALLY agree with Georgia Governor Kemp.
    Healthy citizens should maintain their normal daily routines. Unhealthy Citizens with compromised immune systems should remain Sheltered In Place.

  18. I TOTALLY agree with Georgia Governor Kemp.
    Healthy citizens should maintain their normal daily routines. Unhealthy Citizens with compromised immune systems should remain Sheltered In Place.

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