Georgia Gov. Kemp Defends Absence of Statewide Mask Mandate: ‘Government Is Not Going to Be the Answer to All People’s Problems’

Friday, July 17, 2020
By Paul Martin

17 Jul 2020

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Friday defended his decision to effectively stop local governments from enforcing mask mandates, emphasizing that “government is not going to be the answer to all people’s problems.”

The Republican governor defended his decision to prevent local governments from enforcing mask mandates via fines and possible jail time, emphasizing his belief in personal responsibility rather than overreaching government edicts.

“Now I know that many well-intentioned and well-informed Georgians want a mask mandate. And while we all agree that wearing a mask is effective, I’m confident that Georgians don’t need a mandate to do the right thing,” Kemp said, asking mayors to instead enforce his existing order and use their influence to build support for wearing masks, rather than issuing threats.

He said in part:

Last week on a call with mayors and commissioners around the state, I issued a charge to local leaders and I’ll do it again today. Instead of issuing mandates that are confusing and unenforceable, I’m asking all local leaders to enforce the current executive order. Enforce the rules that we have put in place to keep employees and customers see at local businesses. Enforce the provisions that ensure folks are staying six feet apart at large gatherings. Enforce measures to protect the medically fragile. And use your bully pulpit, your social media channel, and your connections with the local media to help build support for wearing a mask when needed.

“For our local chambers of commerce, rotary clubs and other community organizations, please help us echo this call. Encourage those you represent and urge those you serve to double down and mask up,” he added.

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