Tennessee Democrats Urge Gov. Lee to Issue Statewide Shelter in Place Order

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Democrats in the Tennessee Senate asked Gov. Bill Lee to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order Monday to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

In a letter sent to Lee’s office, the Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus said that the “surge of coronavirus cases in our state has and will continue to put our doctors, nurses, and caregivers under great strain and threatens to thrust our medical system and healthcare supply chain toward a crisis point.”

Both Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland issued “safer at home” orders for their cities Monday. The orders prohibit dining-it at restaurants, public gatherings, going to work unless providing essential services, visiting gyms, and having “non-essential visitors” over to a home.

“We join the bipartisan group of Tennessee mayors who have issued or advocated for ‘safer at home’ orders for their cities. More importantly, we urge your administration to heed the warnings of medical experts who have made clear Tennessee must go further,” the letter states.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Tennessee had 667 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two deaths. The state, including private labs, has tested 11,144 people for the virus.

Senate Democrats said they have concerns about people with no health insurance, small business owners, and the unemployed, but told Lee that the “most immediate concern must be to reduce the number of new infections.”

“Governor, we want you to be successful. We need you to be successful. The people who we represent are counting on it. We implore you to move quickly with a statewide ‘safer at home’ order,” their letter concludes. “Tennesseans need and deserve clear and unequivocal guidance.”

Gov. Lee has thus far declined to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order, but said during a Monday press conference that “nothing is off the table.”

The governor has issued executive orders closing all K-12 public schools as well as bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation. He announced Monday that he has established a “COVID-19 Unified Command” to streamline the state’s response to the virus.

“The COVID-19 pandemic challenges every aspect of traditional government response in a crisis,” he said in a statement. “I have appointed the Unified Command to effectively change the way we attack COVID-19 in Tennessee as we work to simultaneously address health, economic and supply crises.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].

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5 Thoughts to “Tennessee Democrats Urge Gov. Lee to Issue Statewide Shelter in Place Order”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Unfortunately I would not be one bit surprised to see Governor Lee do just that. I do not trust him at all. I am NOT a Democrat but I am also not a blind follower.

  2. Kevin

    Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that the Democratic Party was lauding the Constitution and their strict adherence to it, during the impeachment proceeding? Where exactly do any of the compacts which we citizens agreed to, including our Constitution, say anything about when or how the government can take away our God-given rights? In fact, the Constitution was enacted to prevent government from doing exactly what these Leftocrats are proposing!

    Tennessee has been averaging over 1,000 traffic fatalities per year since 1964. Next the Dumbocrats will try to tell us that we need to all give up driving our vehicles!

  3. Julie

    Dems want to shut down the economy with these shelter in place orders because they think it will get rid of Trump in November if the economy tanks.

  4. Steve Allen

    The Donks intent is to destroy our economy and rebuild it as a socialist state. If we completely shut down the state how are people going to pay their bill??? The dems are never happy unless they are in complete control of every aspect of our lives.

  5. Rick

    NO, the Democrats have deceptive motives behind this request rather than for the welfare of the people. Democrats want to keep the hysteria and fear going till November. You cannot trust this Democratic request, if this need was strong enough don’t you think this would have been a bipartisan request. The Democrats have created their own well deserved
    “Zero” trust factor.