Stacey Abrams had some choice words for her former gubernatorial rival Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) following his decision to begin rolling back the state’s stay-at-home orders at the end of the month.
During an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday morning, Abrams was asked about her reaction to Kemp’s decision to reopen businesses in Georgia starting Friday. Abrams first pointed out that the state has the 14th highest infection rate and the seventh slowest testing rate, before arguing that “trying to push a false opening of the economy” will risk putting more lives in danger.
“There’s nothing about this that makes sense,” Abrams said. “The mayors of Atlanta, Albany and Savannah have all questioned the wisdom of doing this. And the fact is the governor didn’t consult with mayors before making this decision.”
Abrams then shared her experience as a small business owner who understands “the instinct” to “preserve your family’s economy” while also protecting your workers.
“The responsibility of a business owner is to first protect your workers,” Abrams said. “That cannot happen when you have a nail salon where there’s no possible way for that technician to be distant from their customer, when you are running a restaurant that requires face-to-face service.”
Abrams also argued that the federal government should help all small business owners through the Paycheck Protection Act, which ran out of funds last week.
“Instead of these large corporations receiving millions of dollars, they need to be directed to the small businesses,” Abrams said. “We should not be putting people’s lives at risk because of the antiquated systems of financial delivery we’re facing.”
Watch Abrams’ remarks below:
Stacey Abrams on Georgia Gov. Kemp rolling back stay-at-home orders: "There's nothing about this that makes sense." pic.twitter.com/wkx6azHmYG
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) April 21, 2020