Despite him saying it's time for the American economy to reopen, Trump attacked Gov. Brian Kemp for ending some social distancing measures in Georgia.
Donald Trump has been saying for weeks that he wants the American economy to get back to business as usual, complaining that the social distancing measures put in place to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus were worse than the virus itself.
However, as soon as Georgia's GOP Gov. Brian Kemp heeded his advice and announced a decision to allow some businesses in his state to reopen, Trump tossed Kemp under the bus.
"I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the phase one guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia," Trump said Wednesday night at his daily coronavirus task force briefing — referring to his administration's three-phase plan to reopen the economy.
Trump added, "I want him to do what he thinks is right, but I disagree with him on what he's doing."
Kemp is one of a handful of Republican governors in the South to announce the end to some social distancing measures in their states. On Monday, Kemp announced that gyms, barbershops, nail salons, massage therapists, tattoo parlors, and bowling alleys could open on Friday.
While experts disagree with Kemp's plan, it follows Trump's loud push to allow Americans to get back to work.
Trump has egged on protesters in states across the country who are demanding that governors reopen their state economies.
Trump posted a series of tweets on Friday encouraging opposition to social distancing efforts, saying "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!" "LIBERATE MINNESOTA!" and "LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!"
Trump's attack on Kemp is the latest about-face he has made regarding who has the power to end social distancing measures.
In the days since, he's pivoted to say it's actually up to governors to decide when to open their states.
And now that governors like Kemp decided to open their governments — despite multiple polls showing the public thinks it's too soon to do so — Trump rejected the decision.
"I love — I love those people that use all of those things: the spas and the beauty parlors and barbershops, tattoo parlors. I love them," Trump said Wednesday. "But they can wait a little bit longer. Just a little bit. Not — not much. Because safety has to predominate. We have to have that. So I told the governor, very simply, that I disagree with his decision, but he has to do what he thinks is right."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.