Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is getting hit from every direction on Thursday over his aggressive plan to reopen the state’s economy in the middle of a raging pandemic. Now, even his fellow Republicans have joined the critics — even Donald Trump disavowed Kemp’s plan Wednesday after previously expressing support for states reopening for business.
On Thursday, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins piled on Kemp’s plan, accusing the governor of “not communicating clearly” amid the coronavirus outbreak and failing to solicit input from local leaders, according to Politico.
“The president wants the country open. I want the country open. The governor wants the country open. The problem is how do you do it? And I think that’s the problem with leadership,” Collins told “Fox & Friends.”
In his harsh rebuke, Collins also slammed his Republican governor’s lack of leadership.
“Leadership is about communicating,” he continued, “and when you are not communicating clearly — look, the governor did not take away the stay-at-home order, but yet selectively decided certain businesses are going to open up,” he added, according to Politico.
“I will tell you this: My concern was not having the local input into that,” Collins said Thursday, echoing those local frustrations and arguing that Kemp’s rollout of a reopening plan “made people nervous.”
“I think clear communication is what has to happen,” he said. “But when you’re telling people to still stay at home, but yet we’re going to open certain businesses, that creates a problem in which people are not sure what to do.”
Kemp announced on Monday that some establishments in Georgia, including bowling alleys, gyms, hair salons and tattoo parlors, could reopen as early as Friday. Next Monday, movie theaters may also reopen and restaurants will be allowed to return to limited dine-in service — seemingly contradicting his own statewide stay-at-home order, which expires April 30, as well as federal social-distancing guidance in effect until the end of the month.