Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Trump says he discouraged Georgia governor from reopening nonessential businesses

President Trump on Wednesday said he "disagreed strongly" with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's (R) plan to reopen some nonessential businesses in the state, telling reporters he thinks it's "too soon" for people to visit barbershops, nail salons, and tattoo parlors.

During his daily coronavirus briefing, Trump said he wants Kemp to do "what he thinks is right" for Georgia, but "I disagree with him on what he's doing." Under Kemp's plan, gyms, salons, and tattoo parlors will reopen on Friday, followed by theaters and restaurant dining rooms on Monday. Trump said he thinks it's "just too soon" to open those types of establishments "in phase one," and while he "love[s] those people who use all of those things ... they can wait just a little bit longer. Because safety has to predominate."

The Georgia Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported 20,740 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, with the death toll at 836. Several small business owners and their employees are worried about how fast the virus will spread once these businesses reopen. Dewond Brown, a line cook in the Atlanta area, was laid off in March, and he told The Associated Press if his restaurant reopens, he won't go back to work unless he knows his co-workers have tested negative for COVID-19 and there is a drop in new cases. He has high blood pressure, and is worried about becoming sick. "I understand everybody wants to get back to normal, but you hear the medical people everyday say it's not time yet," he said.