Georgia governor faces backlash after reopening state beaches amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 11:40 AM, Apr 06, 2020

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is reopening beaches in his state amid the coronavirus, and some beach town officials are not happy with his decision.

City council members and the mayor of Tybee Island, which sits on the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean, voted March 20 to close their beaches to combat the spread of the virus.

Gov. Kemp upended that decision Thursday by issuing a statewide shelter-in-place executive order, The Washington Post reported.

Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions did not hold back when she issued a statement saying she nor her city council members approve of Gov. Kemp's decision.

"As the Pentagon ordered 100,000 body bags to store the corpses of Americans killed by the Coronavirus, Governor Brian Kemp dictated that Georgia beaches must reopen," Sessions wrote in her statement. "He then declared any decision-makers who refused to follow these orders would face prison and/or fines. The health of our residents, staff, and visitors are at risk, and we will pursue legal avenues to overturn his reckless mandate."

The Post reported that Tybee Island has 3,100 residents and no hospital.