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“The View” co-host Ana Navarro had asked Abrams what Georgia’s “logic” was in reopening businesses like bowling alleys and massage parlors.
“Is there a way of staying six feet apart when you’re getting your hair done or your nails done? How do you see this actually going into action? How is it going to work?” Navarro asked.
“There is no logic,” Abrams responded, “and that’s part of the problem. We only shut down Georgia two weeks ago. So let’s remember, we were one of the last states to respond to the call for the shutdown because the governor did not recognize that asymptomatic people could spread the disease,” Abrams added, referring to Brian Kemp, who beat Abrams during a gubernatorial contest in 2018.
“We are seeing our rates over the last two weeks, not decline, and we know that you cannot perform a tattoo from six feet away. You can’t do someone’s nails from six feet away, but I want you to remember who you saw the last time you walked into a nail salon — who you saw working on the front lines at a restaurant. Those are the people who need to be home protecting themselves and their families, making sure that they are safe because they are often the only breadwinners, and instead of protecting their lives, we are prioritizing the potential of the economy.”
Abrams added that the Senate was right to support an enlargement of the Paycheck Protection Act, which provides financial relief during the pandemic.
“That’s the solution to the economic challenges we face, not putting people’s lives on the line so you can say you did something,” she said.
Georgia’s governor announced plans Monday to restart the state’s economy before the end of the week, saying many businesses that closed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus could reopen as early as Friday.
Georgia’s timetable, one of the most aggressive in the nation, would allow gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors to reopen as long as owners follow strict social-distancing and hygiene requirements. Elective medical procedures would also resume. By Monday, movie theaters may resume selling tickets, and restaurants limited to takeout orders could return to limited dine-in service.
“I think this is the right approach at the right time,” Kemp said. “We’re not just throwing the keys back to these business owners. We’re talking about people (who had) the government shut down their business.”
Experts have warned, however, that reopening the economy too soon could lead to a spike in cases and reversal of some of the gains made during the shutdown.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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