‘That’s not a plan for us,’ says Lee of advice from White House on stopping COVID-19
Governor Bill Lee said that although he takes the advice from the White House very seriously, he does not intend to follow it.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Governor Bill Lee said that although he takes advice on COVID-19 from the White House very seriously, he has his own plan for handling the virus in the state.
Dr. Deborah Birx, with the White House COVID-19 Task Force, encouraged widespread mask use in Tennessee and pointed to the possible closure of bars. Lee, however, has repeatedly said no to a statewide mask mandate and another shutdown.
Lee said he discussed alternative plans with Birx to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 that do not involve a state-wide mask mandate, forcing bars to close or shutting down the economy.
“People wear masks because they believe there is a reason to do so,” said Governor Lee, adding that he’s been to counties that do have a mask mandate in effect and that many people still were not wearing them. “When people begin to understand this will powerfully and productively affect their lives and their livelihoods in a positive way, then they’ll do it.”
Lee said he will continue to let Tennesseans know every day the importance of mask-wearing, but he will not issue a state-wide mask order.
“President Trump has stated that he believes it’s patriotic, he believes that Americans should do it, and I agree with President Trump,” said Lee. However, when asked if he would follow the advice of Dr. Birx to close bars and limit restaurant capacity he said, “That’s not a plan for us now.”
Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.