Transcript for Atlanta mayor says she tested positive for COVID-19
Let's bring in the mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance bottoms. Search to discuss with you this morning, madam mayor beginning with your health. How are you feeling? I feel okay, George. I have a slight headache, but that's not unusual during allergy season for me and allergy season is just about year round in Georgia now. So just the same headache that I had during stressful times and allergy season. And your family, your husband, one of your children have tested positive. One's tested positive. One tested negative. I'm getting the other two tested today. My husband literally slept from Thursday until yesterday and that's what gave me some concern. I've just never seen him sleep that much but he is feeling better. Are you confident you will handle the city as you deal with Corona? I am, and prayerfully my symptoms won't get any worse. What they told me I have a low positive test so it either means I'm on the way up or the way down. They don't know which one but they've told me to treat it as if I'm positive, just in terms of quarantining and all of the things that are recommended that people do. It has been such a challenging time for Atlanta right now with the surge in violence we've seen in the last several days. In your view why is it happening and how do you stop it? I think it's just this perfect storm of distress in America. I think that people are obviously anxious and even angry about covid-19. Loved ones are dying, people are losing their jobs. I think there's a lot of frustration. A lot of angst and I think the rhetoric that comes out of the white house doesn't help it at all. It doesn't give people much hope and I think that it's all converging together and we're seeing it happen and spill out into much of the streets in Atlanta and seeing it across the country and then you add on top of that the cases that we've all witnessed of police brutality and it has all come together. Just in a valid way. Do you agree with governor Kemp's decision to activate the National Guard? No, the irony I asked him to allow us to mandate masks in Atlanta and he said no but he has called in the National Guard without asking if we needed the National Guard. So I understand that he wants to protect state buildings. We have been coordinating with the Georgia state patrol which we do on any number of occasions, law enforcement agencies coordinate, and we provide assistance to them. They provide assistance to us. But at no time was it mentioned that there was a need for the National Guard to come? Of course, all this is coming as you mentioned in the middle of the pandemic. Did the city and the state of Georgia just -- did you open up too soon? I think we're too aggressive in opening up. Now, the city has taken a phased approach in the opening and I think to the extent that our numbers are -- our numbers are still extremely high but to the extent they aren't any higher is because we've been thoughtful as a city with buy-in from many of our fortune 500 companies in not massively re-opening in the way the state has but our numbers are surging. It was too aggressive, it was too soon and we're paying for it not just in Georgia but we're paying for it across the country and people are paying for it with their lives. What's the situation with schools in Atlanta? Well, the school systems are independently controlled by independently elected boards. They are making independent decisions, so it's a hodgepodge of responses. Some schools are giving people the option of virtually learning or sending their kids back into the classroom. Some have not made a decision at all, and schools open up pretty early in Georgia. We open up at the beginning of August. So I expect that we'll have more announcements soon but with the way the numbers are up I don't know how it can be possibly be safe to send kids back into the school for the sake of our teachers. The kids may be okay but our teachers will certainly be at risk and see what happens in a few weeks with that. Mayor, thank you for your time this morning. We hope recovery goes well for you and your family. Thank you.
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