WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – As Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) moves forward with his order to reopen several non-essential businesses on Friday, the White House is speaking out.
“I disagree, strongly,” President Donald Trump said Wednesday.
President Trump has openly supported getting Americans back to work. But he said Gov. Kemp’s decision to open businesses like nail salons, barbershops and gyms is in violation of his White House guidelines for reopening the economy.
Kemp is pushing on with his plan but the disagreement between the president and the governor puts other Georgia lawmakers in a difficult spot.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) isn’t picking sides.
“My focus is on protecting lives and livelihoods – I’m not going to play politics,” she said in a statement.
Sen. Loeffler said she supports both President Trump and Gov. Kemp’s efforts to reopen America.
“Of course I support President Trump and I’m proud to serve on his task force to re-open America. And obviously, I support Governor Kemp and his efforts to begin to get Georgians back to work safely,” she said. “We have to continue following the guidelines to stay safe. Both President Trump and Governor Kemp are showing strong leadership during these unprecedented times – and I’m honored to be working with them to reopen our economy based on a measured, data-driven approach.”
In neighboring Alabama, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin warns of the dangers of opening these businesses this soon.
“We’re putting those individuals lives at risk, the operators, the shampoo person – their lives are at risk as well as their families back home,” Dr. Benjamin said.
Benjamin said there just isn’t enough testing in the state to know who has the virus and who doesn’t.
Whether or not Georgians choose to start going out on Friday – lawmakers like Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) said, “that’s your decision to make.”
Georgia’s senior Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) shared a statement that said, “while we continue fighting this virus, we need to begin thinking about how to reopen our economy. We have to do it in measured ways. I believe the president has laid out a phased approach that will allow us to find a balance without having a resurgence of this virus.”