It comes as no surprise that the news that Georgia is reopening some non-essential businesses such as beauty shops and barbershops in the midst of a pandemic, is being met with much opposition. One vocal opponent is Stacey Abrams, who ran against Gov. Brian Kemp in 2018 and lost, who has gone on the record to say that none of this “makes any sense.”
On Wednesday, Abrams told The View that these numbers that Kemp’s cites that prove that “flattening the curve,” are being dangerously misinterpreted.
“The mayors of our largest cities have all expressed deep concern as have our scientists. Georgia is not flattening the curve. We have one of the highest rates of infection and one of the lowest rates of testing,” Abrams said.
“This makes no sense and it doesn’t improve our economy. It simply puts more Georgians at risk.”
As we previously reported, on Monday, Kemp announced during a press conference that certain businesses such as hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors and gyms will reopen in his state on April 24; while movie theaters and bowling alleys will open on the 27. He is allowing for elective surgeries to take place as well.
Citing that he sought guidance from President Trump, he stressed that this reopening is geared to help small businesses that are suffering in this rocky economy due to the stay-at-home and quarantine orders.
“We appreciate their leadership and share in the President’s desire to reopen the economy and get Americans back to work, adding, “As a small business person for over thirty years, I know the impact of this pandemic on hardworking Georgians in every zip code and every community.”
However, Abrams, also a former small business owner, stressed that these entrepreneurs are even more vulnerable—physically and fiscally—to this deadly pandemic.
“What I know as a former small business owner is that the people who are going to be sent to the front lines are the people who are the least resilient,” she said. “They likely don’t have health insurance. They probably won’t have protective equipment. But most importantly, they can’t afford to say no if they’re told to go back to work.”
In the end, Abrams says that Kemp is “prioritizing the potential of the economy” rather than the lives of the people in the state he swore to protect and serve.
Abrams isn’t the only high-profile Georgian to speak out against Kemp in the past few days.
“I didn’t know it was coming and obviously the governor is the governor and he certainly has the prerogative to make orders that he deems appropriate. He did not consult with me. I don’t know what the reasoning and data that the governor used to make this decision was, because I have not spoken with him, but I did not know in advance.”
The second Black female mayor of Atlanta also questioned how safe can one be being so close to someone in these types of settings.
“You get your hair done, I get my hair done. I don’t know how you socially distance when someone is doing your hair or doing your nails, giving you a massage. These things are concerning to me, Bottoms said. “I do hope that I’m wrong and the governor is right. Because if he’s wrong, more people can die.”
In Kemp’s desire to jumpstart the state’s economy, it is important to note that in the state of Georgia, there have been nearly 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus with more than 800 deaths. Past Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) found that while African-Americans, who account for roughly 32 percent of the state’s population, make up nearly 54 percent of these deaths.
We definitely know that for Black hairstylists, barbers and nail technicians in the state, this move could bring in a much-needed income, but is this worth the risk? Should you have to choose between making ends meet and jeopardizing your life?
BEAUTIES: Do you agree with Gov. Kemp’s strategy to reopen some non-essential businesses in the state of Georgia?