Black Lawmakers Want State to Stop Giving Names, Addresses of COVID-19 Patients to Police


The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators wants the state to quit giving names and addresses of COVID-19 patients to police.

The caucus made the request to Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Health, WATE reported, citing a press release from the caucus. Lee sent letters to Tennessee police offering to provide personal information to their departments once they’ve entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the state.

The press release said:

The Administration said the data is being made available so first responders would have the opportunity to protect themselves if they were called to an address where an infected person resides. However, Chairman Hardaway of Memphis says the information could actually have a “chilling effect” that keeps those already distrustful of the government from taking the COVID-19 test and possibly accelerate the spread of the disease.

Caucus Vice Chair Rick Staples (D-15) of Knoxville also questioned the practice, WATN said.

More thought needs to be given to the effect these practices could have on the many varied communities across Tennessee. That’s why it’s so important to have diverse representation at the table when these issues are being discussed so decisions aren’t being made that could possibly do more harm than good and possibly set us back in terms of much needed testing.

Lee made the offer to share the private information with police, the Tennessee Lookout reported, saying it had two letters.

“Health has a list of names and addresses of people in Tennessee who have tested positive or are receiving treatment for COVID-19,” a letter dated April 20 to state police chiefs said. The letter was sent by Valerie Nagoshiner, chief of state for the Tennessee Department of Health.

A total of 32 county sheriff’s offices and 35 police departments entered into agreements with the state to receive the information, the Tennessee Health Department told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Mark Yother, the police chief of Manchester, told the newspaper that the move is a way to keep police officers safe.

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Photo “Tennessee Black Caucus Chair Hardaway” by State Rep G.A. Hardaway (D-Memphis).





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7 Thoughts to “Black Lawmakers Want State to Stop Giving Names, Addresses of COVID-19 Patients to Police”

  1. CCW

    Strange that we would make it a “Black” issue (see article header). In 1980’s we sequestered HIV/AIDS tracking because someone decided it was a “Gay” issue and required the utmost privacy. How many innocent lives were destroyed because of that social issue? Too date, since the 1980’s epidemic outbreak, approx. 700,000 have died from HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Currently 38,000 preventable AIDs infections occur per year. Approximately 1 in 7 currently infected still do not know they are infected, yet.

    As far as COVID19 is concerned, infection pathways are still being discovered, investigated, and catalogued. Maybe, we should give the viral disease control people a litle more time before we go silent on tracking information.

  2. Kevin

    Governor Lee and the powers at be, are flat out wrong, allowing this to happen! Protecting “first responders” is an admirable goal, but trying to protect them by giving out personal information is wrong! What will be next? Maybe we need a registry for anybody who drinks alcohol, because they might be drunk, and dangerous, if you go to their house. Maybe we need a registry for anybody who has had a family member commit suicide, because there might be a genetic disorder that runs in the family that makes the family “dangerous”.

    But, make no mistake, Chairman GA Hardaway, and Democrats are only against it because they weren’t the ones dumping it on us! They could give a rat’s behind about protecting our freedoms and liberties. In fact, they’re the one’s pushing hard to put us all on the “plantation”!

    1. Patriot Mom

      Maybe we need a liberal registry and another one with everyone who supports this?

  3. Trixie Belden

    Our liberties and privacy rights aren’t being chipped away any more, they’re being dynamited away, all in the name of “protecting” us. I’m amazed that Governor Lee offered this, a clear violation of HIPPA laws and privacy rights, “memorandum” or not. And with “contract tracing” in place, will that be the next group of names given out? It doesn’t take much imagination to see where this could go. Just stop it!

  4. David Masters

    Where does it say that these people consented to release that information? Defiantly a HIPPA violation.
    Why exactly do they need it? Are you now making it their job to track and monitor these people?
    As if they don’t have enough to do…

  5. Rob Moreland

    One group of politicians and administrators got HIPPA oassed to protect health information and another group violates it. What’s next HV, Measles, Psorasis, Flu, whatever they want ?

    1. Horatio Bunce

      Yes, whatever they want. Your medical information is not private in Tennessee. Just like Obama gutted HIPPA by executive order to sell children’s information to third parties under Common Core. TN Republicans keep that scam going too but claim it was changed with TN Core.