U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he “totally disagrees” with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s phase 1 plans to reopen tattoo parlors, bars, hair salons and other nonessential businesses this week.
Trump said Kemp’s decision violates the phase 1 guidelines the White House announced last week that recommends states wait to ease social distancing restrictions until there’s widespread testing and a low level of community transmission. Trump said he respects Kemp’s right as a governor to make his own decision.
Kemp is allowing tattoo parlors, spas, hair salons or barbershops, movie theaters and bowling alleys to reopen this week so long as they, and their patrons, follow physical distancing orders and other guidelines, Kemp announced on Monday.
“Maybe you wait a little bit longer until you get to a phase 2. So do I agree with him? No, but I respect him and I will let him make his decision,” Trump said at a White House press conference. “Would I do that? No … But I’m going to let him make his decision, but I told him, I totally disagree.”
White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said the coronavirus will rebound if governors and local officials reopen the economy too soon and advised Kemp against his planned reopening of the state.
“If I were advising the governor, I would tell him that he should be careful and I would advise him not to just turn the switch and go because there is a danger of a rebound,” Fauci said.
“I plead with the American public, with the governors, with the mayors for the people of your responsibility, although I know one has the need to leap frog over things, don’t do that. Do it in a measured way. This is a successful formula. The problem is if we don’t do that, there is a likelihood that we will have a rebound,” Fauci said.
After Trump and Fauci’s comments, Kemp acknowledged his call with the president on Twitter, saying he appreciated Trump’s “bold leadership and insight during these difficult times and the framework provided by the White House to safely move states forward.” He said the decision is “driven by data and guided by state public health officials.”