Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) asked his state’s residents to “commit” to wearing a mask for four weeks, despite his ongoing lawsuit against Atlanta officials for mandating a face covering be worn.
"Today, I am encouraging all Georgians – from every corner of our great state – to do four things for four weeks to stop the spread of COVID-19," Kemp said in a statement. "If Georgians commit to wearing a mask, socially distancing, washing their hands regularly, and following the guidance in our Executive Order and from public health officials, we can make incredible progress in the fight against COVID-19. Together, we can protect our loved ones, revive our economy, and continue to take measured steps forward."
Kemp, who was narrowly elected governor in 2018, has cast himself as a staunch conservative and railed against government-imposed regulations.
However, he’s positioned himself to the right of other conservative governors, including those of Alabama and Arkansas, who have issued mask mandates.
Kemp took his opposition to a mask requirement a step further last week when he filed a lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) and city council members in an attempt to scrap the city’s mask ordinance and other health measures that go beyond executive orders he’s signed.
The governor has defended the suit as an effort to “put Georgians first,” though he has recognized the use of masks can help blunt the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 145,000 people in Georgia.
“They worked for us before and they will work again,” Kemp said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends.”
Besides wearing masks, Kemp and Kathleen Toomey, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, are urging Georgians to practice social distancing and wash their hands for 20 seconds “several times throughout the day.”
“Georgians, we need your help,” said Toomey. “By implementing these simple - but effective - practices, we can slow the spread of the coronavirus and continue on a path toward ultimately defeating COVID-19.”