NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As Tennessee reached another record-breaking week in COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations, a group of doctors is asking Governor Bill Lee to issue a statewide mask requirement.
“Governor Lee's 'fend for yourself' approach to the COVID-19 health crisis has failed; so can we now try the approach health experts have said we’ve needed for months? Hospitals are at capacity. Healthcare workers are burning out. Outbreaks are closing schools and harming businesses," Dr. Amy Gordon Bono, Internal Medicine primary care physician said in a press release.
The group Protect My Care issued the statement Friday following the governor's signing of an executive order allowing the Nationals Guard to be sent to Tennessee hospitals.
"Tennessee is in critical condition and Gov. Lee’s refusal to take responsibility during this health crisis has led to entirely avoidable increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths, and entirely avoidable school and business closures," Dr. Bono continued.
The group asked for a mask mandate months ago in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus.
Gov. Lee has continuously said he will not issue a mandate, but encourages residents to wear a mask while in public. The state's COVID-19 campaign states "Let's face it. Masks fight COVID-19."