Savannah Mayor Van Johnson on mask mandates

Georgia local officials are fighting with the governor over mask mandates.
2:21 | 07/18/20

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Transcript for Savannah Mayor Van Johnson on mask mandates
mandates is Savannah mayor van Johnson. Thank you so much for being with us this morning. You have a mask mandate in effect despite the governor saying he overrides such measures by local officials. The governor is even going so far as to sue Atlanta over its mask mandate. What is your response to all of this? This is absolutely amazing to me, and thank you for the opportunity, but at a time in which we should be singularly focused on fighting covid-19, in Georgia we're fighting each other and our governor is suing our capital city. It does not make sense at all. Now, talking about the mask mandate in Savannah, are you issuing fines for those failing to wear masks? We are continuing to enforce our mask ordinance. From the very beginning our goal was compliance, not to be punitive, so we will offer a mask before we finsomeone. And just give us a sense of what you guys are dealing with there in Savannah. What are you most concerned about when you're looking at these rising numbers in your state? Well, we're very concerned. Savannah is a very beautiful city with 15 million visitors a year. We're right off the I-95 corridor. People come here from all over the world and that's what our issue is. People are coming here. They're coming here from places that are hot spots and our businesses have been largely compliant but we have people coming here. We have to have the ability to be able to defend ourselves and have the ability to get in front of covid-19 and we know from the science, it's been very clear from the beginning as over 20 states had done so and corporate giants that you have to -- wearing a mask stops the -- slows down the spread of this virus. You've received some criticism for your mask mandate, even some signing a petition online for a recall. What do you say to the citizens of Savannah as far as masks go and as far as this petition that's out there? Well, if somebody wants to recall me for doing all I can as long as I can to protect the city of Savannah, her citizens and business interesting, if that's what I'm charged with, I'm guilty as charged. Mayor van Johnson, thank you so much for being with us this

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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