Governor Lee Bans Gatherings of More Than 10 People


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee (R) announced in a five-minute address Sunday evening that the state will ban indoor public gatherings of more than 10 people in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m signing an order that will limit indoor public gatherings to 10 people,” Lee said in a televised message to Tennesseans.

“We now have around 10,000 Tennesseans getting sick every day,” he said, adding that Tennessee was “ground zero” for the COVID-19 pandemic, and that cases have surged in the state since Thanksgiving.

He also asked Tennessee residents to abstain from large gatherings at Christmas.

“So tonight, I’m asking you to make some hard decisions,” Lee said. “I’m asking you to not engage in indoor gatherings for the holidays that include anyone outside your household.”

He also announced that the state will limit attendance at indoor sporting events, and implored business owners to let employees work from home for the next month.

Tennessee is one of the few remaining states in America that has not implemented a statewide mask mandate or mandatory stay-at-home orders. Until Sunday, it had not limited indoor gatherings.

But during his evening remarks, Lee lauded local governments that had implemented mask mandates, and encouraged residents to wear them.

“Masks work, and I want every Tennessean to wear one,” he said.

Watch the full address:

Lee has apparently been wavering in his position about mask mandates for months.

The governor was overhead regretfully saying that he had not implemented a mask mandate in a video recorded by local television station WJHL.

“I said to someone the other day, gosh, if we had the hindsight of 2020 and we’d done a mask requirement at the beginning of March, we probably wouldn’t have had to close everything down,” he said in the video filmed in July at a COVID-19 testing center in Johnson City.

Meanwhile,  Tennessee residents and advocacy groups spent their weekend fighting for individual liberty.

The nonprofit group Tennessee Stands held a rally Saturday urging the Knox County Commission to strip the Knox County Board of Health of its mandate powers, and return the Board of Health strictly to an advisory role, as reported by The Tennessee Star.

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles spoke at the Tennessee Stands rally Saturday.

The Star spoke to Ogles after Lee’s Sunday evening address.

“I am relieved the governor did not do a statewide mask mandate,” he said. “We can’t sacrifice liberty and infringe on the Constitution, even though there’s a virus, and even though people are scared.”

“Yes, the virus is serious,” he said. “But at the end of the day this is about personal responsibility.”

Ogles also encouraged Tennesseans to socially distance.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]





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32 Thoughts to “Governor Lee Bans Gatherings of More Than 10 People”

  1. Here in the real world: We don’t know of anyone with COVID-19! There ere two at Church some time ago and several at one time at the Walmart, just off the Interstate and probably infected by Illegal Aliens en rout to other points in the US! The hospitals do not have any Covid-19 patients.
    At one time there ere an actual total of 19 patients n one hospital.We go where and as we please, with no masks but forced to wear the things in some stores.
    The mask are incapable of stopping the virus,the particles much much smaller than the weave r pores of the masks. It is impossible to wear glasses with the masks as your breath forces past the edge of the masks and steam them up. Air enters freely around the edge also. I had double Pneumonia sometime ago and wearing one my oxygen level drops into the mid to low eighties, trying to breath through or around the masks,causing near collapse

  2. JG2284

    Tennessee Stands:

  3. rick

    A trifecta of moron,s Lee, Goober Jim and Corade Commie Cooper! People are fed up with this BS Health fraud. Live free or die!

  4. MIKE

    Tennessee would be far better off if the legislators would do their job and limit the emergency power they have given to this governor.

  5. OldSoldier

    Re my last, not sure how it was changed but the link should be:
    QUOTE [from a “public” discussion at

  6. OldSoldier

    Did anyone else notice what Bill’s apparatus has convinced him he should attempt to ban? “indoor public gatherings of more than 10 people”.
    Public gatherings? As in a meeting of public officials in a public building? Thank your Diety of Choice! That means that anytime more than one member of state government meets another in a public building, for any reason, they will each be guilty of committing a criminal act. Brush up on your powers of Citizen Arrest, everyone. Perhaps we can end the pandemic by locking up all the officials . . .
    Of course, when private individuals meet – anywhere – for private purposes, this ban would not apply. Especially in places of public accommodation.

    QUOTE [from a “public” discussion at
    Places of Public Accommodation.
    Title II, Section 201(a) of the Civil Rights Act states:
    (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.
    SEC. 201. (a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public
    accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.
    (b) Each of the following establishments which serves the public is a place of public
    accommodation within the meaning of this title if its operations affect commerce, or if
    discrimination or segregation by it is supported by State action:
    (1) any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests, other than an establishment located within a building which contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and which is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as his residence;
    (2) any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or other facility
    principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises, including, but not limited to, any such facility located on the premises of any retail establishment; or any gasoline station;
    (3) any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of
    exhibition or entertainment; and
    (4) any establishment (A)(i) which is physically located within the premises of any establishment otherwise covered by this subsection, or (ii) within the premises of which is physically located any such covered establishment, and (B) which holds itself out as serving patrons of such covered establishment.
    So yeah, they can refuse you service, but not legally.
    And notice the phrase “full and equal enjoyment.” That isn’t Click List or curbside pickup. That is entering the building and browsing at your leisure like everyone else.
    And by the way, for those curious, a doctor’s office is also a place of public accommodation. ENDQUOTE
    Some will undoubtedly argue that the discrimination is allowed since it is not being implemented based on race, religion, nationality, etc., etc. That brings up the State Action clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Though that probably will not matter to the dictators and their followers since they are already willfully violating the Constitution. Which is a crime, by the way.

  7. Tom Ballard

    Wussie RINO Lee needs to take less inspiration from Cuomo and Newsom and more from Kristi Noem, who at least recognizes that people can use personal responsibility to make their own choices. If people want to mask up or stay at home, letting their lives be dominated by government-induced fear, that is their choice. If people want to go to church, go shopping, or gather with friends and family over Christmas, that is their choice also. I’m OK either way and Lee should be too.

  8. Dickey Fitzwell

    Time to primary out this sh!thead

  9. Horatio Bunce

    Bill needs to explain how his wife caught the Coronahoax. Was it because:
    A) She was selfish
    B) She was foolish
    C) She was indifferent
    D) She wasn’t wearing a mask
    E) She was wearing a mask and therefore proved they don’t work
    F) It was just a “coincidence” in time for his anti-Freedom of Assembly speech

  10. Mary

    I see some sheep have made it to the comments.

    1. Steve Allen

      You’d jump off a bridge if the government told you to. Liberals love nothing more than to have their entire lives dictated by the government. You all lack the ability to think for yourselves. How do I know this, I lived in the Socialist Republic of Vermont for thirty years until we couldn’t stand the stupidity any longer.

  11. Cynical-and-Wary

    Bill Lee,

    If police show up at my residence, I’ll first ask, politely, for the warrant. If it is based on any of your “Executive Orders”, I will politely ask if they are aware that the warrant is invalid. No matter if a judge approves it, you do not have any authority under the state constitution to issue orders which subvert the constitution. Which itself makes clear that only the legislature can create laws, not you nor the courts.
    If the police are (a) willingly ignorant or (b) under duress to enforce your unlawful order, then they, as you, will be committing criminal acts, and will no longer have the safe harbor granted to law enforcement and government in he proper performance of their duty.
    Step One will be to determine if there is a judge with the courage to follow the law rather than usurp power while making a new one.
    Step Two will be the computer-based – automated – start of an educational campaign designed to let each elected official and the public know more about the COVID Crap that Twitter and Facebook and their like are censoring. To wit:
    There is a meta analysis of 10 studies on the CDC website showing that masks do nothing. A combined file is available as a PDF for those who wish to study it in detail. Some people have attempted to rebut this by saying that it’s about the flu, not COVID-19. They overlook the fact that both are viruses, as another CDC document shows, and it also admits that transmission is accomplished in the same manner. Question: If we don’t require masks for flu – nor for the other multitude of easily transmissible infections harbored by humanity – why then for COVID? And why masks when they do not cover the eyes, which is a prime entry point for the virus, not only mouth and nose?
    Government officials at all levels, in their rush to demonstrate their authority, overlook the fact that under our system of law, specifically the Constitution, neither states nor lower sub-divisions have lawful authority to require masks. Yes, I know the legal claims that state constitutions give governors and unelected health boards that authority, and an authority to delegate, but that specious claim overlooks the fact that legal is not the same as lawful. As the Supreme Court has recognized many times, a law cannot be lawful if it violates any of the limits placed against government. Limits, restrictions; not grants of open-ended authority.
    Step Three, at some future point, will be forceful resistance. In a lawful manner, of course, in accordance with Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306 and John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529 and Housh v. People, 75 111. 491; reaffirmed and quoted in State v. Leach, 7 Conn. 452; State v. Gleason, 32 Kan. 245; Ballard v. State, 43 Ohio 349; State v Rousseau, 241 P. 2d 447; State v. Spaulding, 34 Minn. 3621, etc., etc.

  12. mikey whipwreck

    i wonder who is paying beatrice shaw to troll these comment sections.

    who’s paying you?

    1. Horatio Bunce

      controlled opposition…

  13. LM

    To Ms. Shaw , it is a shame that you do not realize you are being exploited. The left uses people like you up like some kind of renewable resource. If you choose to subject yourself and your loved ones to that type of predatory agenda that’s your choice. Many of us , however do not choose to be lumped into that category. The truth is , people who realize that masks DO NOT work , and that social distancing and isolation are waaay more HARMFUL than helpful , are the people who actually do take all of this very seriously.

  14. midtngal

    Notice how this message was so important, it wasn’t on any of the local stations? A study has now come out that masks actually cause you to get sick! If they do work, why are the numbers going up? How long before they finally figure out that it is the masks that cause the spread? I’m really embarrassed for you folks that walk around with a face diaper. Your kind of thinking is the exact reason Hitler was able to kill so many! WAKE UP!

  15. Cannoneer2

    “I said the other day, Gosh, if we had a Governor with a backbone, we would be SO much better off!”

  16. David S. Blackwell RN, BSN

    This man should be recalled. He is a complete moron. He is no different than Gavin Newsom, Cuomo, or Whitmer. it’s cold and flu season folks. People die. People should also take better care of themselves, especially when they are in their younger years. The baby boomer generation is one of the largest segments of the population, so naturally, they, being the oldest segment of the population, are going to contribute to more deaths. End of story. Young people need to tell this governor to shove it. Live free or die. God bless America. With attitude such as the governor, is it any wonder we made it west of the appellations?

    1. Julie Carr

      Totally agree.
      This is guy is a fraud.
      Another Brian Kemp.

  17. Beatrice Shaw

    He is an odd fellow for sure. Strange how he only dances around actually fighting Covid. We need STRONG enforcement of mask and at home mandates. I’m not afraid of police checking my residence. We will gladly comply to save lives.

    1. David S. Blackwell RN, BSN

      Don’t be a moron. What we need to do is police your refrigerator.

    2. Ron Welch

      You’re free to waive your rights and invite the police in, but otherwise without a 4th Amendment (and Article I, Section 7, Tennessee Declaration of Rights) warrant, they are not lawfully allowed as was always the rightful Constitutional view of classical liberalism.

      But as far as “fighting Covid” the mention of health information to enhance our immunity is never mentioned by all the experts who advise officialdom and the media. It seems go be an intentional suppression of pertinent information, perhaps a fascist imposition of the medical-pharmaceutical FDA establishment.

      “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” –John F. Kennedy

      “Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come
      when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict the art of healing to one class of Men and deny equal privileges to
      others; the Constitution of the Republic should make a Special privilege for medical freedoms as well as religious freedom.” –Dr. Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence

    3. Tom Ballard

      I have no problem with people wearing masks, staying at home, hiding under their beds, and living in abject fear. That is their choice and I am OK with that. Where we run into a problem is when you tell me what I have to do – that is when you get a big socially-distanced GFY from me.

  18. Julie

    We have 10,000 Tennesseans getting sick or 10,000 positive “cases?” I am not sure if he is trying to placate the left or if he really believes this. Anyone with half a brain can find articles on the internet that discuss dying with/of covid, death certificate matching, high PCR cycle testing, and mass testing events like prisons that yield positive cases of mostly asymptomatic people that inflate the covid numbers. Gov. Lee laments not doing the mask mandate earlier but we now have mutant covid strain headed our way via England so he may get his chance if he believes that the sky is falling (and says he believes that masks work). This news is supposed to increase vaccine compliance since the polling data indicated that only about 50% of the population planned to get the vaccine.

  19. Kevin

    So here’s one for you. IF masks work, how and why did the Governor’s wife get Covid? Either masks don’t work, OR, she didn’t listen to him, OR, they both don’t follow what he tells us to do! Sounding more and more like we’ve got a morally and intellectually superior (in their minds) leftist as our Governator.

    But why would we expect a macroscopic mesh, ill fitting face mask to prevent a microscopic viral particle from being transferred from person to person?

    This is a POWER GRAB! Mainly by the Chinese Communist Party and all of their “bought and paid for” American politicians! Time to implement the Insurrection Act, and clean house!

  20. Gary Pintado

    This man needs to be reminded that he serves in the executive not the legislative branch of the state government. This means he does not write law. This UNCONSTITUTIONAL action is TYRANNY and a clear violation of the US CODE TITLE 18 SS 242. PUNISHABLE BY FINE AND 1 YR IN PRISON.

  21. Tim Price

    Bill Lee, I will never vote for your Liberal Arse again!

  22. CMinTN

    We have zero intention to comply with your unconstitutional restrictions. Better come heavy if you think you’re going to enforce it.

    1. David S. Blackwell RN, BSN


  23. Rick

    Lee, what an embarrassment and an idiot!

    1. Whathappen2mask42weeks2curbthevirsus

      LOL, WE THE PEOPLE will take fault for your faulty virus when you can admit it’s all bull ! PLEASE TELL THE PUBLIC ABOUT LEVEL 4 bio labs and what they do at those labs ! Let us know how your wife feels after she recovers. I’m sure she will be just fine like all the other 98 percent of people who were told they were sick bc a faulty test come back positive. If TN is smart they will abandon Lee plumbing for good ! Lee does not blame his CCP partners for this nor the CDC level 4 bio labs , he blames the people who have had everything taken from them. If those vaccines work so good as we have been brainwashed to believe then what the hell are you worried about? Btw the vaccines will kill if your stupid enough to fall for the needle .. ask any nurse who is Christian what is really going [email protected] the local level and you will find out the truth ! Rockfeller Lockstep ! It’s time to take a stand for your rights and demand this commie to step down for meeting with traitors ! The great reset is upon us and just be warned they do not have plans that involve you the freedom fighter ! PLEASE TAKE YOURR RIGHTS SERIOUSLY AND REMOVE ANYONE FROM OFFICE WHO THINKS THEY CAN STOP YOUR FREEDOMS ! They will want the weapons next because the germs from the weapons will need to be inspected! Civil disobedience is the right call to action . Bill horn bill lee home night and day ! Next is Covid camps for those who want freedoms ! Tennessee open your eyes the two party system was put in place to bring about division . Oath keepers are the leaders of tomorrow. Microsoft helped Hitler with stamping the Jews ! What makes you think they come to help Tennessee ? Bill Gates is behind every bit of this ! Lee is complicity in this overthrow will land him in the history books as a sissy who helped China !

      1. midtngal

        Did you see that he is on the list of CCP members? No real surprise there!