Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) tried to fulfill President Donald Trump’s wish to reopen the economy despite the COVID-19 outbreak–but apparently that backfired completely.
During his daily press briefing on Wednesday evening, Trump said that he wasn’t on board with Kemp’s decision to allow non-essential businesses, such as gyms and salons, to reopen.
Trump told reporters that while he likes and respects the governor, “maybe you wait a little bit longer until you get into a phase two.”
“Would I do that? No. I’d keep them a little longer,” the President said of the social distancing guidelines that encourage non-essential workers to stay home. “I want to protect people’s lives.”
“I’m going to let him make his decision,” he added. “But I told him I totally disagree.”
Soon after Trump made the comments, Kemp posted a Twitter thread praising Trump’s “bold leadership and insight during these difficult times,” but he also declared that his mind hadn’t changed.
“Just like the thousands of businesses currently operating throughout Georgia, I am confident that business owners who decide to reopen will adhere to Minimum Basic Operations, which prioritize the health and well-being of employees and customers,” Kemp tweeted.
The Republican governor had announced earlier this week that he would begin rolling back Georgia’s social distancing measures on Friday by letting some businesses to reopen that day, followed by more openings in other sectors the next week.
His decision was met with backlash from state leaders, who said the governor had not informed them of the move in advance and that it was too soon to have people go back to work.
Watch Trump speak below:
Trump: "I totally disagree" with GA Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to reopen businesses. pic.twitter.com/zq3xFKt9o0
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) April 23, 2020