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If It’s So Safe to Open Everything Back Up, Why Is Georgia’s Governor’s Mansion Still Closed to the Public?

Hmm, it's almost like it's way too soon for this or something!


A protestor shows a sign while driving past the Governor's Mansion during a drive by protest in Atlanta, Georgia

Last week, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced that he would allow businesses in the state to reopen, even though, as pretty much anyone could tell you, it’s way too soon for that. It’s so premature that even Donald Trump criticized the decision.

Kemp said that businesses such as nail salons, massage therapists, bowling alleys, gyms, and tattoo shops would open last Friday, with restaurants and movie theaters opening today.

Yup, if you want to share your sweat and spit and bowling ball finger holes with strangers, Kemp thinks that’s totally safe, but apparently, things aren’t safe enough for him to open one specific location to the public yet: the Governor’s Mansion, where Kemp and his family live.

Typically, the Governor’s Mansion offers free tours to the public three days a week—except right now, when those tours have been canceled “out of an abundance of caution.” A note of the mansion’s website reads:

**PUBLIC TOURS CANCELED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily canceling public tours until further notice to ensure the health and safety of Georgia families.

How strange that Brian Kemp thinks the world is safe enough for us to go out and surround ourselves with strangers in a movie theater (and watch … what? All new movie releases have been pushed back?) but not safe enough to allow the public into this historic building where he and his family live? Hmm, it’s almost like he doesn’t think things are very safe at all, and maybe he had other reasons for wanting to make sure people can’t file for unemployment or receive government funds “reopen the economy.”

In a viral Facebook post, one Georgian describes trying to schedule a tour since “The Governor himself said it was safe to come out” and that it seems pretty “unamerican” that their “rights to visit my Government’s mansion would be infringed on.”

That’s the kind of protest where I’m torn halfway between cheering and feeling really bad for the person whose job it is to answer that phone. But I don’t have to worry anymore, because they switched over to an automated message, and the cowards apparently aren’t even accepting voicemails for constituents to lodge their complaints.

(image: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.