Social media lit up Wednesday evening after Donald Trump announced his opposition to Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to reopen Georgia businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“They can wait a little bit longer. Safety has to predominate,” Trump said Wednesday. “Would I do that? No. I want to protect people’s lives. But I’m going to let him make his decision. But I told him I totally disagree.”
MORE: ‘Too soon,’ Trump says of Ga. plan to reopen economy; Kemp disagrees
Among the first people to respond to Trump's strong words was Kemp himself, who posted three tweets defending his decision and reiterating that he's taking a "measured step."
While Trump’s disagreement did not change Kemp’s plan to reopen barbershops, nail salons and other businesses Friday, twitter users were quick to say to say that Georgia’s governor had been thrown “under the bus.”
Others quickly came to Kemp’s defense, saying that Kemp’s decision to reopen businesses will slow down a stifling economy and will let business owners make their own choices.
More than 21,000 people across the state have been infected with COVID-19 and the pandemic has led to hundreds of thousands of Georgians losing their jobs.
Several people took the opportunity to slam both Republicans, who have been close allies in the past. Trump praised Kemp’s response to the pandemic just a day earlier.
Other people reacted with utter confusion.
Some said they didn’t understand Trump’s apparent change of heart, given that he tweeted in support of anti-lockdown protests in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia. Others were baffled at the disconnect between the two politicians, who seemed to be on the same page Tuesday.
Per Kemp’s plan, certain businesses — gyms, barber shops, tattoo parlors and bowling alleys, among others — can open their doors Friday as long as their follow social distancing guidelines, screen workers for fever and respiratory illnesses, and take other steps to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.
Theaters and dine-in restaurants will be allowed to reopen on April 27, while a statewide shelter-at-home order will remain in effect through the end of the month. Kemp said the elderly and people who are “medically fragile” should stay home until at least mid-May.
MORE: Kemp reopens some businesses, despite warnings COVID-19 still a threat