Vice President Mike Pence travels to Georgia Friday (Reports).
Vice President Mike Pence is headed for Atlanta on Friday to meet with Gov. Brian Kemp and gather with restaurant executives to discuss the state’s aggressive approach to reopening the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Republican plans to have lunch with Kemp before a roundtable discussion with restaurant executives at Waffle House’s headquarters in Norcross. He’ll then return to Dobbins Air Reserve Base for his flight back to Washington. It will be Kemp’s first in-person meeting with Pence since a public spat with the White House erupted when President Donald Trump strongly criticized Kemp for rolling back coronavirus restrictions in late April.The rebuke stunned Kemp’s aides because hours earlier Trump and Pence both separately voiced support for his plans to let some shuttered businesses, such as barber shops and tattoo parlors, reopen if they follow guidelines.
The governor, who is closely allied with the president, sought to defuse the dispute when pressed days later about Trump’s remarks, and has frequently praised the “unprecedented response” from the White House. The stop at Waffle House’s headquarters is also noteworthy. The company’s chairman, Joe Rogers Jr., forcefully urged state officials not to ban dine-in services, arguing that the economic damage would outweigh the public health benefits. Kemp’s executive order allowed restaurants to reopen dining rooms starting in late April as long as they follow dozens of safety regulations, and many Waffle House locations in Georgia soon took that step.