While mandatory face masking appears to have certain levels of bipartisan backing, there are still some Republicans willing to stand against it.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is one Republican leader who will not mandate masks, despite calls for him to do so from the forced masking crowd.
Over the course of this month alone, mayors and other local leaders in the Peach State have criticized Kemp for this decision; these officials also attempted to circumvent his statewide executive order by issuing their own local mask requirements.
Yesterday, Kemp nipped these requirements in the bud. In a new executive order, the Georgia governor explicitly voided all local mandates for residents to wear masks, as noted by sources.
A Closer Look at the Georgia Governor’s Latest Executive Order
For the most part, Governor Kemp’s executive order largely keeps most coronavirus restrictions in place for the state of Georgia. The governor did, however, use very explicit language to make clear that localities cannot override his statewide ruling when it comes to face coverings.
Per the Georgia governor’s executive order, any and all mandates for state residents to wear face masks are “suspended to the extent” of them being more stringent than Kemp’s own decree.
Today I issued Executive Order 07.15.20.01, which extends the gatherings ban of more than 50 people, renews business restrictions, protects the medically fragile, and strongly encourages Georgians to wear masks in public.https://t.co/CKFdrW4C3M
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) July 16, 2020
This modified language regarding mandatory face masks in the state of Georgia arrives as local leaders in Atlanta, East Point, Savannah, and other communities have attempted to compel Georgians to wear face coverings.
Shortly after local mask mandates and prior to Kemp’s latest executive order, his office released a statement explaining that mask requirements from Georgia localities are legally “unenforceable.”
Reactions from Georgians and Other Americans
All in all, the response to Kemp’s most recent executive order is largely split. Americans, especially Georgians, who do not support forced masking are all in favor of it. People with this outlook maintain that mask-wearing should be up to the choice of each individual.
Thank you! I appreciate that you leave mask wearing up to us to make an educated decision and base it on personal case by case basis. I think that by showing your trust in Georgians to do what they feel best you are empowering people to deal with covid at their comfort level.
— MomsgonnabeRight (@MomsgonnabeR) July 16, 2020
However, those in favor of forced masking, both in and out of Georgia, are criticizing Kemp’s decision. Proponents of forced masking claim that the Georgia governor’s refusal to force everyone into face coverings is tantamount to a complete lack of regard for public health or beating COVID-19.
What do you think about the Georgia governor’s latest executive order? Are you glad that Georgia residents can choose whether or not to wear a face covering? Let us know down below in the comments section.