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Atlanta Mayor Tests Positive, Sees 'Perfect Storm Of Distress In America'

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, shown here in 2019, says a headache is her only symptom after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Paras Griffin
Getty Images
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, shown here in 2019, says a headache is her only symptom after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has tested positive for the coronavirus but said Tuesday that her only possible symptom is a headache.

The diagnosis comes at an intense time for the city, which is reeling from the police killing of Rayshard Brooks and a spike in violence over the Fourth of July weekend.

Bottoms announced her positive test on Twitter on Monday. "This is the same headache that I have during stressful times and allergy season," she told ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday.

The mayor said doctors told her she had a "low positive" test, meaning that she was either at the beginning or near the end of her infection. One of her children has tested positive, and she told CNN that her husband tested positive as well. Bottoms added that neither she nor her husband has underlying heath conditions.

On Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency, moving up to 1,000 National Guard troops to Atlanta following a burst of violence that left four people dead, including an 8-year-old girl, as Georgia Public Broadcasting reported. The Georgia State Patrol headquarters was also ransacked recently, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Bottoms said that she disagreed with Kemp's order and said that she thought the governor's reopening plan for the state was too aggressive.

When asked about the surge in violence in Atlanta, Bottoms pointed to concerns surrounding police brutality and the increasing spread of the coronavirus.

"It's this perfect storm of distress in America," Bottoms said in the Good Morning America interview. "People are obviously anxious and even angry about COVID-19. ... I think that the rhetoric that comes out of the White House doesn't help it at all, it doesn't give people much hope. I think that it's all converging together, and we're seeing it happen and spill out onto the streets in Atlanta."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Austin Horn is a 2019-2020 Kroc Fellow. He joined NPR after internships at the San Antonio Express-News and Frankfort State-Journal, as well as a couple stints in the service industry. He aims to keep his reporting grounded in the experience of real individuals of all stripes.