A Georgia mayor decided to cancel the social distancing order brought on by the coronavirus and quickly backtracked after backlash.
Despite there being almost 5,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state of Georgia, the mayor of Cumming shocked lawmakers everywhere Tuesday when he announced he was canceling the city’s social distancing order.
“Effective immediately I have rescinded the social distancing order that took effect on the morning of April 1, 2020,” Mayor Troy Brumbalow wrote in a statement posted to Facebook.
“While the intent of the order was to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19, it is obvious that a large portion of our public doesn’t want government mandating the recommendations of public health officials,” the statement added.
Brumbalow’s previous mandate prohibited all businesses, corporations, nonprofits or organizations from having more than 10 people in one location. It also suspended “all in-dining service at food service establishments in the Cumming city limits.”
But when the mayor had to swear in 150 new police officers to enforce the order, it caused backlash and criticism from local residents.
— Coronavirus Updates – Alexander Higgins (@kr3at) April 3, 2020
“A huge sticking point in the order was the appointment of special policemen to help enforce the order. Under the city charter, the mayor can appoint special policemen during times of emergency. I said in our press release that I would swear in up to 150 policemen,” Brumbalow wrote in his post.
“I was looking at a worst case scenario caused by the pandemic as our police department has 18 officers. I can see that I didn’t communicate our thoughts and intentions clearly enough. People reacted strongly on social media thinking we were becoming a police state. That was never the intent.”
“While I think the intent of our order was for the health of the citizens, the delivery was bad,” his statement added.
However, Brumbalow quickly reversed his decision. He explained having made an “emotional snap judgement” in response to his ailing grandfather who died Monday.
“I’m grieving and crying over a man that I loved dearly and have to bury today. I say all of this not out of pity but as an explanation. I’m human and not perfect by any stretch,” he wrote.
I want to clarify the past 24 hours. First by explaining my mindset. Over the past several weeks I have been caring for…
In stark contrast to this decision, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently told CNN’s Anderson Cooper during CNN’s coronavirus town hall, “I don’t understand why’ every state hasn’t issued stay-at-home orders.”
“You know, the tension between federally mandated versus states’ rights to do what they want is something I don’t want to get into,” he said. “But if you look at what’s going on in this country, I just don’t understand why we’re not doing that.”