Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear Urges Kentuckians Not to Go to Tennessee


Kentucky Democratic Governor Andy Beshear urged Kentuckians living on the border of Tennessee to not go to the Volunteer State for anything other than work, helping a loved one or maybe the grocery shopping.

Beshear said of the actions taken in his state, “As you know here in Kentucky we have taken very aggressive steps to try to stop or limit the effects of the coronavirus to try to protect our people. We have made major sacrifices such as shutting down bars and restaurants, nail salons, all these forward-facing businesses.”

Referring to the state of Tennessee, Beshear went on, “But, our neighbors from the south, in many instances, have not.”

“If you ultimately go down over that border and go to a restaurant or something that’s not open in Kentucky, what you do is you bring back the coronavirus here in Kentucky,” he said.

He pointed out that just barely south of the Kentucky counties of Christian, Logan and Todd, there are significantly more cases. He said it means those living are doing a lot inside their county to flatten the curve.

To one question about whether he has spoken with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Beshear admitted he has not even called him.

“I’m working every single day to do everything I can to protect Kentuckians, admittedly I am frustrated that there are some states around us that haven’t taken the same steps, though.”

Beshear said he does talk to Governor DeWine in Ohio regularly, as much as every day to every other day, attributing their regulation communication to knowing each other from when they were both attorneys general before becoming governors of the respective states.

Implying that politics may play into Lee’s actions, Beshear said for himself and DeWine, “Politics never come into this,” adding, “It is always a conversation of how we’re doing various things and how, being neighbors and both being aggressive at the same time can help both of our states.”

To whether he has considered additional measures with Tennessee, such as closing the border or ordering Kentuckians not to go to Tennessee, Beshear said he is not there yet, but he does consider different options every single day.

In a conversation with Lee, Beshear would say he needs to do everything that Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana have done.

While saying it isn’t a time for partisanship, Beshear went back to politics again.

“This isn’t a time for partisanship, but if you look at that, I’m the only Democratic governor in those three {states]. We’re all just trying to do the right thing.”

Answering the question more directly, Beshear said he would ask Lee to close restaurants and bars to in-person traffic and close the forward-facing business like Kentucky has.

“I’m not here trying to criticize his leadership, I’m just here trying to protect my people. I just want to make sure that all of our surrounding neighbors are doing everything they can because it gives us an extra level of protection.”

As Beshear pointed out, the coronavirus doesn’t care about borders.

“We can be doing all the right things here or in Ohio, but if someone in an area where the coronavirus is spreading because they haven’t taken aggressive steps simply drives to one of those areas, then boom, it can start spreading in that area,” he said.

While there are COVID-19 cases in counties bordering Tennessee, according to the map Beshear presented, the highest number of cases are not in those counties.

Rather, the highest numbers of 80 or more confirmed cases are in Jefferson County, where Louisville is located, and Fayette County, home Lexington, the second largest city in the state.

Jefferson County borders Indiana and Fayette county does not border any other state.  Beshear did not address how to stop the spread from those counties into other Kentucky counties or into Indiana.

Of the three counties with the next highest incidents of COVID-19, one borders Ohio’s third largest city of Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, Kentucky saw its largest number of new cases Friday, increasing by 50, after seeing increases of 39, 33 and 20 in the three days prior, indicating that the rate of growth in new cases is accelerating.

Overall, Kentucky has had 302 positive cases, negative tests totaling 4,821 and 8 deaths.  Tennessee has had 1,203 positive cases, 14,888 negative tests, 103 hospitalizations and 6 deaths.

In Kentucky’s two other neighboring states that Beshear praised, Ohio has had 1,137 positive cases, 19,012 negative tests, 276 hospitalizations and 19 deaths and Indiana has had 1,232 positive cases, 7,175 negative tests and 31 deaths.

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Laura Baigert is a senior reporter at The Tennessee Star.







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9 Thoughts to “Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear Urges Kentuckians Not to Go to Tennessee”

  1. Ron Welch

    It looks like the Kentucky Governor should be warning his own citizens about what they are doing in his State. Tell them to “shelter in place” lock their doors and and have their guns “locked and loaded”.

    But if he’s the typical leftist Democrat, he’ll prefer they are unarmed–although Kentucky is still a “free State” where the citizens can keep and carry weapons.

  2. Rick

    To all ndividuals that think we should have to stay in our residence at all times for a specified period , go for it lock yourself up no one is stopping
    ,you. For me It’s an irrational thought and reaction, but if that is what you choose to do, the individual is in charge, do it.

  3. Kevin

    Beshear is a leftist! Trying to make points with the AOC crowd. 180 degrees in the opposite direction from Matt Bevin!

    Wait until Beshear proposes a “gun grab”. All of those border-line Beshear supporters will be looking enviously to the South. I hope they’ve all stocked up on plenty of Kentucky jelly, they’re gonna need it!

  4. Trixie Belden

    Does the governor even know what he’s talking about? I’ve not seen a restaurant anywhere here in East TN open for anything other than drive-through or takeout. Schools are closed through April. And what he may consider a “non-essential business” may actually be someone else’s livelihood. He may claim he’s not being political, but the most restrictive orders have come from Democrat-controlled areas, including the two Democrat governors of NV and MI who have actually banned the use of the drugs that have proven to save lives of covid-19 sufferers. Glad he’s not our governor.

  5. Horatio Bunce

    Beshear needs a few more hashtags for his screen to go along with his KY Snitchline:


  6. Leslyann

    That’s exactly what I think the governor of Tennessee should do, shut down every non essential business for a period of time. And order people to stay in their residence at all times. The people of Tennessee apparently are not taking this situation seriously and is sad.

    1. Ron Welch

      “And order people to stay in their residence at all times.” –Leslyann

      How should that be enforced?

      What about sitting outside in the fresh air and sunshine by which their bodies will generate Vitamin D which us critical for strengthening the immune system? Being forced to “stay in one’s residence” would be an extreme detriment to health. Not good!

    2. 83ragtop50

      You are surely not serious. If so, may I recommend that you move to Kentucky or New York.

  7. Ron Welch

    My county borders Kentucky. Any Kentuckian is welcome here and when they come, they can simply do what Governor Beshear admonishes in Kentucky to avoid contracting the virus. Maybe they can set a good example for us.

    Social distancing is a good idea as are the other standard precautions. But I did notice that Governor Beshear, dud not mention enhancing one’s immune system. I do that here in Tennessee. But I suppose the Governor, like most others in officialdom and the media, obediently omit that in deference to government doctors, the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA.