Stacey Abrams Slams Georgia Governor Over Move to Reopen State

Stacey Abrams blasted her former opponent, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, over his decision to start reopening parts of Georgia this week amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

“This makes no sense and it doesn’t improve our economy. It simply puts more Georgians at risk,” said Abrams during a Wednesday appearance on ABC’s The View. “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 Kemp’s decision will put the most vulnerable segments of Georgia’s population at risk.

“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. They likely don’t have health insurance,” she said. “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.”

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She also said Kemp was putting politics over workers’ lives.

“What Brian Kemp is doing is putting his own personal politics ahead of the needs of the people of Georgia, and it is a dangerous choice to make,” she stated.

Kemp revealed Monday his plans to “incrementally and safely” start reopening parts of the state’s economy this Friday. Among those businesses included in the governor’s plan are gyms, barber shops, hair and nail salons and bowling alleys. Church services are also expected to start up shortly with social distancing guidelines in place.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health website, as of Wednesday the state had 20,740 confirmed coronavirus cases and 836 deaths.

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As for Abrams, the former Georgia House Democratic leader’s name has been buzzed about as a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

When asked about that possibility of joining a Biden ticket, Abrams said: “I try to be straightforward because while we hope the work speaks for itself, sometimes the work needs a hype man. I learned early on that, if I didn’t speak for myself, I couldn’t tell the story.”

View co-host Sunny Hostin applauded Biden’s announcement that he will pick a woman, but asked Abrams if she thought he needed go a step further and commit to picking a woman of color.

“Women of color, particularly black women, are the strongest part of the Democratic Party — the most loyal — but that loyalty isn’t simply how we vote, it’s how we work,” Abrams said. “And if we want to signal that that work will continue, that we’re going to reach, not just to certain segments of our community, but to the entire country, then we need a ticket that reflects the diversity of America.”