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Georgia governor to drop mask lawsuit against Atlanta mayor and city - Metro US

Georgia governor to drop mask lawsuit against Atlanta mayor and city

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks as Congressman John Lewis lies in state in the Georgia Capitol Rotunda

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced on Thursday that he plans to drop a lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the city, possibly ending a months-long feud over an order for people to wear masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Kemp had sued Bottoms and the city of Atlanta to stop enforcement of a local mask mandate aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. The governor argued that the city lacks the authority to override his order encouraging but not requiring face coverings.

While the governor is to drop the lawsuit, filed last month, his office said it may still pursue an executive order to strike down any local mask mandates. The two sides had been in court ordered mediation.

In a statement to Reuters, the governor’s office said that some agreements were made between the mayor, a Democrat, and the Republican governor, but no final agreement could be reached.

The governor’s office had offered to allow the city to enforce a mask mandate on city property only, but the mayor wants to extend that order to businesses, the statement said.

A representative for the mayor’s office was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell)

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