Georgia mayor reimposes social distancing order after rescinding it in 'emotional snap judgment'

The mayor of Cumming, Ga., backtracked Wednesday after announcing earlier in the day that he would rescind a stay-at-home directive amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a post on the City of Cumming’s Facebook page in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Mayor Troy Brumbalow wrote: “While the intent of the order was to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19, it is obvious that a large portion of our public doesn't want government mandating the recommendations of public health officials.”

Brumbalow, who has no partisan affiliation, wrote in the initial post that the city charter allowed the mayor to appoint “special policemen” in emergencies and that while he had said in his announcement that he intended to swear in up to 150 policemen, this was in reference to a worst-case scenario. The Cumming Police Department currently has only 18 officers.

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“I can see that I didn't communicate our thoughts and intentions clearly enough. People reacted strongly on social media thinking we were becoming a police state. That was never the intent. While I didn't write the press release, I approved it and take full responsibility,” he added.

Later in the afternoon, however, Brumbalow wrote that he had made an “emotional snap judgement” after several weeks of caring for his grandfather, who died Monday.

“There are no special policemen. There is no fine. In short, it says 'keep 6′ from everybody else' and our uniformed officers will be reminding people of that,” he added.