Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a July 8 MSNBC talk show appearance that she would issue an executive order requiring Atlanta residents to wear face masks to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Bottoms noted that Savannah, East Point and Athens had all defied Gov. Brian Kemp’s reopening order that encouraged but did not require masks.

“Atlanta is going to defy it today,” Bottoms said on the “Morning Joe” program. “The state of Georgia has been irresponsible in how it opened back up for business.”

Bottoms said she had requested the latitude from Kemp to require face masks in Atlanta, since Fulton County has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state, and that the governor refused.

“Coronavirus is affecting Black and Brown communities and with higher death rates,” Bottoms said. “We’ll never be able to reopen our schools and our economy if we don’t take some responsibility for what we can do as leaders.”

She did not elaborate on the mask requirements and no order has yet been issued.

Bottoms announced July 6 that she had tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms. She elaborated on that, saying she has mild symptoms and that some members of her family also have tested positive for COVID-19. Bottoms, who described her symptoms as feeling like seasonal allergies, said she was concerned that it had taken eight days and two tests to get results.

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