In To us, The White House quietly told Tennessee earlier this week that “the statewide mask order must be implemented to thwart its growing Govt-19” instructions, which were revealed only at the request of a record, AP reports.
Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s October 11 State Report for Tennessee, which allowed districts to determine whether masks are needed in public, first came to light at WUOT-FM’s request for registration. The Associated Press later received a report from the Knox County Department of Health.
“The Statewide Mask Order must be implemented to prevent the increasing spread among the rural and urban residents of Tennessee,” the record says in the list of recommendations.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he is not in favor of mask orders, but the recommendations of the working group and public health agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are often contrary to the rhetoric of the White House.
Although Lee has made it clear for months that he does not think masks are needed across the state, the report still takes a strong tone in urging Tennessee to act. Lee, who urged people to wear masks, continued to advise against the statewide order on Friday at an online news conference in which he did not mention the White House instruction a few days earlier.
“State-wide, one-size-fits-all orders are not as effective in many cases as local decision-making,” Lee said.
In a statement late Friday, the governor’s office said the White House report did not change his thinking.
“The governor strongly encouraged people to make responsible decisions to protect themselves and others from Govt-19, including wearing public masks, avoiding large gatherings, and staying home when they are sick,” the statement said. “The governor’s view has not changed in the light of the federal government’s commitment recommendations. Earlier White House reports contained similar recommendations over the summer, so the inclusion here is not new.”
Tennessee has seen an increase in the number of corona virus cases in cities, especially in rural areas.
The seven-day roll of daily new cases in Tennessee averaged 1,412 new cases a day on Oct. 1 to 1,911 new cases a day on Thursday. Similarly, the positive rate rose to a seven-day rolling average from 5.7% on October 1 to 7.48% on Thursday.