Savannah mayor displeased with Gov. Kemp’s decision to open businesses

BySean Evans|April 21, 2020 at 11:26 AM EDT - Updated April 21 at 12:14 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announcedplans on Monday to begin reopening select businessesin Georgia as early as Friday, April 24.

Several mayors around the state, including Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, have expressed displeasure with the governor’s statements.

Mayor Johnson called the governor’s choice to reopen businesses, “reckless, premature, and dangerous.” He made an appearance on CNN Monday night.

The mayor held a Zoom meeting on Tuesday where he revisited some of those points.

Mayor Johnson said the governor’s directive comes well before the expiration of the April 30 shelter-at-home order, and the suggested guidelines from the White House.

He said the science still indicates to him that the gradual reopening of businesses should only happen when there’s a clear declining trajectory of new cases and widespread testing availability. Simply put, Mayor Johnson doesn’t think we’re there yet.

But with the city’s hands tied by the statewide order, the mayor encouraged Savannahians to take charge.

“As your mayor, I’m telling you that you are the mayors and governors of your own households. You call the shots in your homes and in your businesses. You get to choose where you go and where you don’t go. You choose where your family goes, you choose where your children go,” Mayor Johnson said.

The mayor followed that by asking residents to continue to follow common sense and the science and stay home.

Albany, Ga.’s mayor, Bo Dorough, had this to say about Gov. Kemp’s directive.

"As a citizen, we need to understand that reopening the economy should be guided by benchmarks, not dates. That reopening the economy should be a gradual and controlled process. And that’s not what we’re seeing here,” Dorough said.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Photo: WTOC

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content