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Atlanta's Democratic mayor admits Georgia's reopening was 'not as bad as I thought that it would be'

She was critical of Gov. Brian Kemp's plan

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms (D) was highly critical of Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp's plan to allow Georgia businesses to reopen earlier than federal guidelines recommended, but she now concedes that the result of the reopening hasn't been as catastrophic as she anticipated, according to Fox News.

In late April, Bottoms wrote a piece for The Atlantic titled, "Atlanta isn't ready to reopen—and neither is Georgia," in which she called Kemp's decision "irresponsible" and predicted that state hospitals could be seriously strained by new COVID-19 cases. That did not happen.

"Well, what I can say, Brian, is it's not as bad as I thought that it would be," Bottoms told MSNBC's Brian Williams.

Still, Bottoms wasn't ready to give Kemp credit for a successful reopening yet, although she admitted that the rate of new cases in the state has slowed since the reopening.

"So, I am pleased about that, but I still think it's too soon to say," Bottoms said. "The reason being, whereas initially, we were seeing increases between deaths and people testing positive, rising anywhere from 25% to 30% over a seven-day period. Right now, we're somewhere between 12% and 15%. And it's better than it was, but it's still not great."

Many predicted a dangerous spike in coronavirus cases in Georgia after reopening, and President Donald Trump was even critical of Kemp, a fellow Republican. One national headline about the reopening read, "Reopening Georgia could lead to a doubling of coronavirus death rate, according to model."

But the data appears to show the lifting of restrictions did not cause harm. From KOMO-TV, the average number of new cases is going down even as more people get tested:

Georgia began lifting restrictions April 24 amid widespread ridicule and even a warning from President Donald Trump that it was too soon to reopen. ... Statewide testing has reportedly increased. The average number of new COVID-19 cases has declined more than 20% since the reopening date, according to the Georgia Department of Health.
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