Governor Lee, please do the right thing.
Many voted for you, Governor Lee, because you said from the commencement of your gubernatorial campaign that you would rise above petty politics and lead our state in a manner that put the best interests of our citizens above political gamesmanship.
Now, you— and we as citizens of Tennessee— are confronting the most critical time in our state‘s and our nation’s modern history.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been declared by both health officials and physicians as being out of control. Dr. Birx told you that the pandemic is at the inflection point in Tennessee.
As they say: lead, follow or get out of the way.
You are distracted by the false mantra: “You can’t make me put a mask on and I won’t wear it because I have rights.“
That complaint did not work when it showed up in Tennessee relative to motorcycle helmets, did it? Your attorney general even made that point in his recent mask opinion.
You can govern by exercising leadership or you can roll out expensive advertising campaigns.
Please save the millions of advertising dollars and devote those funds to public health efforts.
Take out your pen, and order a mask mandate.
All of the bright and dedicated minds around you have given you the green light.
Your own department of labor and workforce development canceled this year‘s June, in person, TOSHA health and safety conference due to Covid concerns. This is your own commissioner leading with action, not public service announcements.
The knowledgeable public health and infectious disease experts at Vanderbilt University have repeatedly emphasized to you the need and necessity for a mask mandate.
Your attorney general has just opined that mask mandates are constitutionally enforceable in Tennessee; and in fact your AG went as far as saying that one of the most important factors in determining the constitutionality and enforceability of such a public health mandate relates to actual conditions on the ground.
Dr. Birx just told you that conditions on the ground in Tennessee are at an inflection point.
This is the real deal, governor.
This is the time to lead with courage and with a true concern for the health and safety of children, parents, grandparents, teachers, workers and those with underlying health conditions.
This is the time to step up and to push the dramatic ideologies aside and to mandate the wearing of masks.
The concept of wait and see has no place in this pandemic spiral. You won’t know whether a mandate works until you issue it.
If you want to hit your beloved state with both barrels, then issue the mandate and follow on with the multi- million dollar advertising campaign.
Kind of like a flu shot and a Corona vaccine in one shot.
There are no second chances anymore.
Health, Safety and Environmental Attorney