Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said in a video response on Twitter that although he appreciated Gov. Lee living up to the courage of his convictions, he “cannot applaud government monitoring the movements of its people” and that with this economic crisis as a result of Tennessee’s statewide shutdown, a mental health crisis will follow.
As The Tennessee Star reported, Gov. Bill Lee signed Executive Order 23, which requires Tennesseans to stay home through April 14th unless they engage in essential activities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“However, I cannot applaud any government monitoring the movements of its people and mandating virtually everything we are allowed to do. I understand that COVID-19 is a very serious issue. This is a crisis. But we also face an economic crisis, with millions of people out of work and no way to earn a living, many of them, due to mandated government shutdowns. We also have a looming mental health crisis, as individuals struggle with depression and feelings of hopelessness and isolation, exacerbated by job loss. Many of them have already taken their own lives,” Jacobs said.
“Further, we have a political crisis, as our state and nation must determine a way to walk back from the damage currently being done to our system of free government. During another crisis, Abraham Lincoln said ‘Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth.’ Knox County will, of course, comply with this executive order. However, with our response to COVID-19, I fear that we may be testing the very limits of President Lincoln’s notion. As a people, we must maintain our hope, optimism, and our faith in God’s provision.”
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs responds to Governor Lee’s Executive Order 23 with the following statement: pic.twitter.com/t3tFf1rRwS
— Knox Co. Government (@KnoxGov) April 2, 2020
Jacobs then encouraged all Knox County residents to practice prescribed physical distancing guidelines.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website, 6.6 million more Americans filed for unemployment last week.
As The Star reported, one week in March, Knox County had nine suspected suicides in less than 48 hours as the COVID-19 pandemic was already underway in the United States.
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