Mayor Troy Brumbalow of Cummings, Georgia, announced via Facebook at around 2 a.m. on Wednesday that he would be rescinding the city's social distancing order despite the state having close to 5,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. However, after his dramatic announcement, he changed his mind hours after and reinstated the order, reports WSB-TV.
According to Brumbalow's original statement, he issued the social distancing mandate to try and prevent the spread of the virus. He then stated that "it is obvious that a large portion of our public doesn't want government mandating the recommendations of public health officials."
The order would have gone into effect this morning and prevented any gathering of more than 10 people and prohibited consumers from eating inside of dining establishments within the city. Allegedly, Brumbalow would also have sworn in 150 new police officers.
He claims that the addition of increased law enforcement "caused backlash and criticism from the citizens of Cumming."
The reason people reportedly became upset with the mayor's original statement is that they felt that the city was on its way to "becoming a police state."
Brumbalow says that "was never the intent."
However, hours after taking to social media to dramatically share that he had rescinded the stay-at-home order, Brumbalow changed course.
On Wednesday afternoon, he announced that he would be replacing the social distancing directive. Brumbalow shared a new post on the City of Cumming City Hall Facebook page announcing he had replaced the original social distancing mandate with a new one.
He apologized for the chaos of the last 24 hours, explaining that his grandfather had recently died, leading him to make an "emotional snap judgment" at 3:00 a.m. that resulted in him rescinding the order.
"I say all of this not out of pity but as an explanation. I'm human and not perfect by any stretch," wrote the mayor.
Brumbalow clarified the changes made to the new order, which does not include swearing-in 150 police officers.
"I have signed a new emergency order to replace the first one. There are no special policemen. There is no fine. In short, it says 'keep 6' from everybody else' and our uniformed officers will be reminding people of that."In response to Brumbalow's updated Facebook posts, many people expressed their sympathies for the mayor's loss and wrote that they understood where he was coming from in terms of his emotions, although some users expressed worries that the new social distancing measures aren't strong enough.