Jim Zachary

Jim Zachary

Alabama requires masks.

Georgia does not.

That says it all.

Texas is requiring masks.

Arkansas is requiring masks.

Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Kroger, CVC and Walgreens are requiring masks.

Georgia is not.

In fact, more than two dozen states where the virus is surging are now requiring people to wear masks in public places, and Georgia is not.

What does the governor of Georgia know that governors across the country do not know? Nothing. Absolutely nothing, when it comes to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.

Do any of you actually think Walgreens, CVC, Target and Kohl’s are part of some liberal plot to bring down Georgia’s governor or the President of the United States?

Is the ever-so-conservative governor of Alabama part of that plot?

Seriously?

The CDC said the other day if we all wear masks we could get this crisis under control.

But the governor of Georgia seems to think he knows more than the Centers for Disease Control, headquartered in his own state.

Gov. Brian Kemp is so out of touch and so blinded to this issue, he even went so far as to pass an order prohibiting cities and counties from enacting local mask mandates, including in COVID-19 hotspots where cases are surging and people are dying.

Then, Kemp had the unmitigated gall to file a lawsuit against the City of Atlanta for trying to protect its people by requiring masks and shuttering some businesses.

Our neighbors in Florida saw 156 deaths in 24 hours.

In Texas, there were 129 deaths in 24 hours.

Deaths are climbing in Georgia every single day.

About 140,000 of our fellow Americans have died from COVID-19.

More people have died in the United States than any nation on earth.

Bodies are being placed in refrigerated trucks across the country.

There are plenty of complicated, nuanced, political issues but this is not one of them.

A plethora of political arguments are purely partisan but not this.

Those of you who think wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding group gatherings are political issues and part of a plot to bring down the president are just wrong.

You are wrong.

Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and Kohl’s say you are wrong.

The Centers for Disease Control says you are wrong.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says you are wrong.

The great state of Alabama says you are wrong.

Kemp was right when he said a law — a mask order — should not be required to get people to do the right thing and wear masks.

But governor, look around.

People are not doing the right thing and now you must.

CNHI Deputy National Editor Jim Zachary is the editor of The Valdosta, Georgia Daily Times and president of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation.