Atlanta mayor: Georgia's reopening 'not as bad' as feared despite coronavirus

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Monday that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s move to reopen the state's economy has not been “as bad” as she first thought.

Bottoms, a Democrat, made an appearance on MSNBC when she was asked if she was wrong to initially criticize Kemp's decision.

"Is it a little muddier than being able to say, 'I was right' or “I was wrong'?" anchor Brian Williams asked. "Are we as of the time of this conversation somewhere in the middle, do you think?"

“Well, what I can say, Brian, is it’s not as bad as I thought that it would be," Bottoms said.

“So, I am pleased about that, but I still think it’s too soon to say,” she added. “The reason being, whereas initially, we were seeing increases between deaths and people testing positive, rising anywhere from 25 to 30 percent over a seven-day period. Right now, we’re somewhere between 12 and 15 percent. And it’s better than it was, but it’s still not great. We’ve still not seen that 14-day decline, as recommended by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].”

Bottoms and other Georgia Democrats criticized Kemp's reopening plan last month. Kemp -- a Republican -- became the first governor in the country to allow several industries, including gyms and hair salons, to reopen while other states remained under strict stay-at-home orders.

At the time, Bottoms urged Georgia residents to stay indoors.

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President Trump publicly disagreed with Kemp over the move, saying Georgia had not met benchmarks established by his administration that states should clear before moving forward with the reopening process.

As of Tuesday, Georgia reported 38,721 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 1,664 deaths, according to the state Department of Public Health.