Ms. Bottoms and other mayors in Georgia had moved to require face coverings in public, but the Republican governor has objected to those mandates, saying he only suggests residents in Georgia wear them.
In an unusual move, Mr. Kemp filed a lawsuit against Ms. Bottoms this week, arguing he has the “chief executive powers” and asked the court to halt her face mask order.
“If the governor of this state had his way, I would not be allowed to speak with you today. And so this blame game is most unusual. There were other cities in our state who instituted mask mandates, and he did not push back against them,” she told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.
“The science is on our side,” she added.
In Georgia, 3,100 people have died from the coronavirus pandemic and 130,000 people have tested positive, Ms. Bottoms noted.
It was the first state to reopen after the federal government urged stay at home orders across most states in March.
Mr. Kemp’s lawsuit seeks to keep Ms. Bottoms from issuing any orders related to the pandemic that conflict with his statewide instructions.
“Local governments, such as the City of Atlanta, do not have the ability or authority to regulate and control the State of Georgia,” the legal complaint read. “Mayor Bottoms does not have the legal authority to modify change or ignore Governor Kemp’s executive orders.”