Atlanta mayor calls Kemp’s ban on mask, vaccine mandates at businesses ‘political theater’

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said the new state order preventing local governments from implementing mask or vaccine mandates makes no sense.

Governor Brian Kemp issued that executive order on Thursday.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot was outside Atlanta City Hall, where Bottoms called the order nothing but politics.

“We’re entering political season, and we’ll see political theatrics,” Bottoms said. “But when it comes to this pandemic, that’s not sound decision-making. I can’t begin to make sense of it. I can’t make sense of it last year and I can’t make sense of it this year.”


Kemp signed the order after Atlanta and Savannah issued their own mask mandates last month. Kemp said he was worried that forcing businesses to require a mask or even cap how many people are allowed inside will hurt them.

“Local governments will not be able to force businesses to be the city’s mask police, the vaccine police, or any other burdensome restriction that will only lead to employees being let go, revenue tanking or businesses closing their doors,” Kemp said.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Longtime Atlanta city council member Michael Julian Bond hopes the governor will reconsider his decision.

“I thin that I’d like to ask him to reconsider,” Bond said. “The COVID-19 variant is spreading like wildfire across our community, and masks are proven to work.”

The governor’s office had no response to the mayor’s comments Friday morning.

Comments on this article