President Trump blasted Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for a third day, making it very clear again that he is not happy with the governor’s plan to reopen Georgia.
Kemp announced earlier this week Georgia is on track for the first phase of reopening businesses again starting Friday and Monday. This is the executive order officially signed Thursday by the governor.
On Thursday morning, the president took to Twitter to talk about Georgia reopening.
“I never (or @VP) never gave Governor Brian Kemp an OK on those few businesses outside of the Guidelines. FAKE NEWS! Spas, beauty salons, tattoo parlors & barber shops should take a little slower path, but i told the Governor to do what is right for the great people of Georgia (&USA)!” the president tweeted.
I (or @VP) never gave Governor Brian Kemp an OK on those few businesses outside of the Guidelines. FAKE NEWS! Spas, beauty salons, tattoo parlors, & barber shops should take a little slower path, but I told the Governor to do what is right for the great people of Georgia (& USA)!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2020
On Wednesday, Trump said he told Kemp he disagreed with some of his reopening decisions, particularly salons and spas. He reiterated that again Thursday in his White House pandemic task force update.
“I want the states to open more than he does, much more than he does. I didn’t like to see spas at this early stage, nor did the doctors. I didn’t like to see a lot of things happening and I wasn’t happy, and I wasn’t happy with Brian Kemp,” Trump said. “I could have done something about it if I wanted to. I’m saying let the governors do it, but I wasn’t happy with Brian Kemp."
[RELATED: What’s opening in Georgia in Phase 1 of COVID-19 recovery]
[RELATED: Gov. Kemp says data is on his side in decision to reopen state]
The president also expressed his frustration with the decision to open beauty parlors and tattoo parlors.
“I want them to open and I want them to open as soon as possible and I want the state to open, but I wasn’t happy with Brian Kemp,” Trump added. He was clear with one reporter that Kemp did not defy the White House but he did say “you’re not under the guidelines, but you make your own decision. I want people to be safe and I want the people of Georgia to be safe. I don’t want this thing to flare up because you decided to do something that is not in the guidelines.”
President Trump tells @jonkarl he is “not happy” with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for reopening certain businesses in the state amid the pandemic.— ABC News (@ABC) April 23, 2020
“I said you’re not the guidelines, but I’m letting you make your own decision, but I want people to be safe.” https://t.co/IfKkKl9Ubq pic.twitter.com/KiTLPrnfR5
Trump finished by saying he told Kemp to do what he thought was best, but he was not happy about it and “I’m not happy with Brian Kemp.”
Like he did Wednesday night, the governor responded to the president’s comments.
“For weeks now, my team has worked closely with the Trump Administration and our federal counterparts to mitigate the impact of coronavirus in Georgia. Our decisions and direction are informed by data and public health recommendations,” the governor tweeted.
“We remain focused on protecting the lives - and livelihoods - of all Georgians. To slow the spread of COVID19 and prepare for hospital surge capacity, we asked Georgians to shelter in place and closed specific businesses throughout our state.”
“Most businesses remained open with restrictions to ensure community health and well-being. We were successful in our efforts to protect Georgians and our state’s healthcare infrastructure.”
Kemp continued in his statement to explain what led to his decision to reopen.
“Now, with favorable data and approval from state health officials, we are taking another measured step forward by opening shuttered businesses for limited operations. I know these hardworking Georgians will prioritize the safety of their employees and customers.”
“Together, we will weather this storm and emerge stronger than ever.”
For weeks now, my team has worked closely with the Trump Administration and our federal counterparts to mitigate the impact of #coronavirus in Georgia. Our decisions and direction are informed by data and public health recommendations. (1/5) #gapol— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 24, 2020
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