State and local officials tussle over virus restrictions

Across the U.S., state and local officials are trying to balance the competing priorities of protecting their citizens from the coronavirus while keeping the economy running. Add into the mix strong feelings about individual freedom, weak and sometimes contradictory guidance from the federal government, and a highly partisan political atmosphere, and that balancing act suddenly becomes a wrestling match.

Take Georgia for example, where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is suing the Democratic mayor of Atlanta over its face mask mandate. Kemp filed the lawsuit Thursday, a day after issuing an executive order banning cities from requiring face coverings. President Donald Trump also visited Atlanta on Wednesday, arriving at the airport without a face mask. The circumstance prompted Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who earlier tested positive for the virus but was asymptomatic, to question the timing of the lawsuit.

With case counts rising rapidly in Georgia, more than a dozen

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