TNDP CHAIR MARY MANCINI ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR LEE’S REFUSAL TO TAKE THE ADVICE OF DR. DEBORAH BIRX 

“Six months ago, by working together and by making a few tough decisions at the beginning of the threat, Tennessee’s economy would have been rebounding.  Instead, Governor Lee refused to tell Tennesseans to wear a mask, downplayed the danger of the pandemic, made weak suggestions with no enforcement mechanism or accountability, and confused Tennesseans as to whether or not to take the pandemic seriously. 

Even now, six months later and with cases, hospitalizations and deaths on the rise, Governor Lee refuses to lead. Today, he said that he willfully ignores the advice by one of the top members of the White House coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, who warned that unless Governor Lee closes bars, limits restaurants, and mandates mask wearing for all 95 counties, the situation will continue to get more grim.

The time for making suggestions is over. Tennesseans need statewide clear and enforceable guidelines for wearing a mask, staying at home, and operating their businesses from Governor Lee today.” – Mary Mancini, TNDP Chairwoman