ATLANTA (CBS46) – Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms went on CBS News’ Face the Nation and Instagram to fire back at Governor Brian Kemp after he filed a lawsuit against Atlanta to prevent the city from enforcing a mask mandate.
Governor Kemp sued the Mayor Bottoms and the Atlanta City Council personally over the mask mandate and in the lawsuit specifically asked not only that the mask mandate be enforced, but also seeks to limit the Atlanta mayor’s ability to issue some press releases and statements.
From Page 14 & 15 of the lawsuit: “Mayor Bottoms must be enjoined from issuing more COVID-related executive orders or press releases that are more or less restrictive than the Governor’s executive orders, including but not limited to any executive order that purport to roll back the City of Atlanta to phase I, impose a face mandate, roll back the reopening guidelines, close businesses that have been reopened, impose additional capacity restrictions, and further limit the number of people who may gather.”
It's a point not lost on Bottoms who said Kemp asked for in the injunction was to “restrain me from issuing press statements and speaking to the press.”
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In addition to being sued over a mask mandate and voluntary advisory guidelines on COVID-19, Gov. Kemp has asked for an emergency injunction to “restrain” me from issuing press statements and speaking to the press. Far more have sacrificed too much more for me to be silent.
On CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday morning, Bottoms said her actions were not about politics, but trying to safeguard the people of Atlanta.
“I have a job I do each and every day and that is the job as the mayor of Atlanta. My responsibility as the Mayor of Atlanta is to make decisions on behalf of the people of Atlanta that will protect our citizens,” Bottoms told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan. “When I look at the unpublished report from the White House that says Georgia is a red zone state, what that reports says is that there are very clear guidelines we should follow; very clear metrics that we should follow. Face coverings are one. Atlanta sits in two counties in this state, two of the highest counties for infection fates for COVID-19. So this is not about politics, this is about people.
#COVID-19 in #Atlanta: “I’ve not actually seen any data or science that points to that,”@KeishaBottoms says of @GovKemp's suggestion that #BLM protest led to recent spikes in #coronavirus cases. Calls out Kemp's "blame game" as "most unusual" pic.twitter.com/ZCVoTK63vO— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 19, 2020
One of the criticism’s made by Governor Kemp and others is the mask mandate from the city of Atlanta is simply unenforceable. Mayor Bottoms likened the mask ordinance to seat belt laws in Georgia, but said politics may be Kemp’s motivation for filing the lawsuit in the first place and said the move by a Republican governor flies in the face of some values the GOP holds dear.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Governor sued me personally, along with our city council personally, after I noted that President Trump came to Atlanta’s Harstifeld-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and did not have on a mask and I pointed out he was violating city law,” Bottoms said. “This is about politics. Our police officers can certainly enforce this ordinance. But at the end of the day, the party that speaks of local control has taken away local control and attempting to silence our voices in this state.”
#Atlanta Mayor @KeishaBottoms on what she would do if Federal Protective Service officers were deployed to #ATL to quell any possible unrest, similar to #PortlandProtest “We will respond accordingly ... I feel very safe that the law is on our side” pic.twitter.com/lV8zUJmBvw— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) July 19, 2020