Gov. Kemp addresses refusal to issue statewide mask mandate

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Governor Kemp
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DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Although Governor Brian Kemp continues to encourage Georgians to take safety precautions to slow COVID-19, he says he will not issue a statewide mask mandate.

This message comes after Gov. Kemp and Laurens County leaders toured the new Smission Mathis Energy facility in Dublin Thursday.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Kemp addressed school reopenings, businesses, and unemployment.

“We’re designed with public health officials to reopen our economy, to reopen our schools, and so on, in a safe way,” Kemp said.

The economy

Kemp says this is the time for residents to keep following the health guidelines in order to reopen the economy.

“Our cases have been very level, really going back to the end of the first week in July,” Kemp said. “We can turn the corner if we just continue to hunker down. We’re working with our hospital facilities to have the bed capacity we need in our state — we’re in great shape there.”

As people continue to lose jobs during the pandemic, he says the new facility will help grow Georgia’s economy.

“We also gotta fight to protect the livelihoods of our citizens and that’s protecting jobs and creating jobs and making sure that people have an opportunity,” Kemp said.

Mask mandate

With many disagreeing with Kemp’s refusal to issue a mask mandate, he encourages opposers to reevaluate their opinions.

“There are many places across our country that I think they’re not too worried about [such]. And I believe sincerely that in the next five months, they’ll be wishing that they were fighting two battles instead of just one,” Kemp said.

Kemp recommends local governments enforce his existing executive orders.