T.I. used his platform on Instagram to urge his fans in Atlanta and Georgia to continue to stay home amid the ongoing pandemic, even though Governor Brian Kemp rolled out plans to begin reopening the state by April 24.
Rapper T.I. is clearly still planning to adhere to social-distancing and stay-at-home precautions despite Georgia Governor Brian Kemp‘s insistence that the state’s restaurants, theaters, and clubs can reopen starting Monday, April 27 and gyms, hair salons, and more will open Friday, April 24. The “Live Your Life” rapper, 39, took to Instagram on April 21 — one day after Governor Kemp’s press conference in which he announced reopening plans — to share an earnest message with his over 12 million followers. “Dear Georgia,” the post read, followed by the acronym, “IDGAFWKSYBSYBAITMFH.” Loosely translated, the statement likely stood for, “I don’t give a f**k what Kemp says, you best sit your black a** in the motherf**king house.” One fan even decoded the message in the comments section, which you can see below. Tip drove the point home by adding the caption, “Atlanta: YKWTFGO,” which most likely stood for “you know what the f**k is going on.”
A number of T.I.’s followers wholly agreed with the statement and left comments on the post to show their support. “Period King!!! Let them know,” one fan emphatically commented. Another chimed in to say that T.I. was saying “facts; I’m in NYC and people are dying by the boatload. Some folks just don’t understand simple directions.” Reality star Brielle Biermann echoed T.I.’s message, tweeting, “If u live in Atlanta and actually go to a gym or restaurant or anywhere you’re allowed to on Friday you’re an asshole,” referencing Governor Kemp’s reopening plans.
Much of the United States has been practicing intense safety measurements since the spread of coronavirus began to reach it’s peak over the last few weeks. But on April 20, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced his plans to reopen the state, despite ongoing work to contain the spread. “Given the favorable data, enhance testing, and approval of our healthcare professionals, we will allow gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers…to reopen this Friday, April 24.” Governor Kemp added that, “Reports of ER visits for flu-like illnesses are declining, documented COVID-19 cases have flattened and appear to be declining, and we have seen declining ER visits in general.”
The state will reopen less than one month after Governor Kemp ordered nonessential businesses to close amid concerns of the affects of COVID-19 on April 1. As of April 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed over 802,000 positive cases of coronavirus, with over 44,000 victims succumbing to the deadly virus across the nation. In Georgia alone, the CDC has confirmed over 20,600 cases.
Despite Governor Kemp’s plans, Gerardo Chowell, an epidemiologist at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health in Atlanta, is concerned that the measures to reopen the state are coming too soon. “If we go back to business as usual, it’s going to happen,” Chowell said, according to NBC News. “This takes time, and you need to communicate it,” the epidemiologist continued. “You need to launch a communication campaign to inform the public how our new life will be. That doesn’t happen in a couple of days.” On April 20, Stacey Abrams, Governor Kemp’s gubernatorial challenger in 2018, tweeted that reopening the state is “dangerously incompetent,” citing the state’s “14th highest infection” rate and “7th lowest testing rate” in the country.