Federal Prompts for Gov. Bill Lee to Issue Statewide Mask Mandate Begs Question of Who Is Behind the Idea


Tennessee is ranked fourth in the nation for COVID deaths per 100,000 people, WUOT reports, citing the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s red zone report, which calls for Gov. Bill Lee to implement a statewide mask mandate.

The controversial report is from earlier this month. The task force issues frequent red zone reports.

Governor Bill Lee has not responded to The Center for Public Integrity’s requests for the reports, WUOT said.

However, one must ask, is this call for a mandate coming from the highest levels of the administration or from bureaucrats?

One prominent task force member has been a vocal cheerleader for masks.

Dr. Deborah Birx has shot to fame during her work with the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Birx has worked for at least three decades in HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health, and she is an ambassador-at-large in addition to her newer role on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, according to her State Department biography.

Birx has mentioned the reports in her private calls with local and state leaders, and she has touted the need to use the data from the reports, The Center for Public Integrity has said.

At least as early as July, Birx was calling for local mayors across Tennessee to force their citizens into masks, Fox 17 News said. Birx traveled to Tennessee to meet with Lee.

She also called for statewide mask mandates in Tennessee, plus other states in the South as well as the Midwest, in July, The Hill reported.

Birx consults with state leaders across the nation.

North Carolina, which has some of the lowest coronavirus case counts in the Southeast, is on the task force’s red zone as well, the Mountain Xpress said. The state’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Mandy Cohen said she and Gov. Roy Cooper had met with Birx on Sept. 9.

“Our progress is fragile and is not as good as we, Dr. Birx or the White House would like,” Cohen noted. “North Carolina continues to simmer. Although we haven’t boiled over, some areas have plateaued at a high rate.”

Birx in September called for Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to extend her statewide mask mandate, AL.com reported.

Lee’s office on Friday said in a statement he still does not plan to implement a statewide mask mandate, The Associated Press reported.

“The governor’s view has not changed based upon non-binding recommendations from the federal government. Previous White House reports dating back to the summer have included similar recommendations, so the inclusion here is not novel.”

Although he has refused to issue a statewide mandate, Lee has often said he thinks people should wear masks, and he has issued executive orders leaving mandates up to local mayors.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes. The Associated Press contributed to this report.








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15 Thoughts to “Federal Prompts for Gov. Bill Lee to Issue Statewide Mask Mandate Begs Question of Who Is Behind the Idea”

  1. LM

    Masks do nothing to prevent the spread of COVID in public. N95 respirators-FIT TESTED- are effective for a SINGLE USE during a LIMITED contact time near a patient. I never would have thought so many people would be so easily controlled by power hungry governments and their minions. Hopefully, enough of the U.S. citizens can or will stop the mask wearing rediculousness before we all become subjects instead. The so called health care experts can’t be ignoring the fact ( if anything about the scamdemic can be a fact) that the deaths are a tiny fraction of the cases – even less if what the CDC says is true, that the actual number of cases could be 20 times higher than reported. Masks and lockdowns are harmful , not helpful. The harm far outweighs any benefit whatsoever. I don’t know if the government minions are stupid or evil , but I suspect mostly the latter.

  2. Ron Welch

    The States have charge of public health. The Federal Government is a creation and agent of the States. It is to stay within its “few and defined delegated powers” as James Madison, the wordsmith of the Constitution said. Governor Lee may take the advice of Dr. Birx under consideration and perhaps use it, but that’s all.

  3. Karen

    I had a doctor tell me it was not this simple, but how could it not be? If you eat crap, don’t exercise or take any vitamins, your body is not capable of fighting off a virus. I would love to see the stats on healthy people vs unhealthy who have gotten this virus….elderly not necessarily included. Some of them don’t have a say in their health, i.e family history of illnesses.

    If this weren’t such a scam on the American (and the world really…) people it might be taken more seriously. Dr. Fauci has said (and there is documation to prove it) that President Trump would face a pandemic in his presidency. How did he know that? The democrats will go to unconscionable lengths to keep/obtain power at any cost!

  4. Horatio Bunce

    Masks Don’t Work


    Birx does not have a valid medical license in any state. The TN Dept of Health refused to reprimand her practice of medicine in TN without a license. She is a medical fraud. And at this point, so is the Dept of Health.

  5. Kevin

    The Muslim Brotherhood supporting, Obama hold-overs, left in the Trump administration would like nothing better than to force all Americans to wear masks, and subjugate all Americans, not just the women!

    Also, the “masks” that we are being told to wear have about the same efficacy as a condom with holes in it!

  6. Steve Allen

    The “mandated” wearing of masks is one of the last gasps of the dying control over America by the deep state and the Donks. Look at how many people who have died, and the cause of death was reported to be the virus, who were mask wearers. The vast majority of people who have died had underlying condition that caused their deaths. This whole Chinese virus issue has turned into a political tool. Untold numbers of people have been counted as testing positive for the virus were never even tested. The same for death certificates, people have died in motor vehicle accidents and the cause of death was officially listed as the virus because they tested positive. What kind of BS is that!

    If you really care about not dying from the virus, quit smoking, get your blood sugar under control, get off the couch and out of the house for some exercise. And stop watching the damn nightly news fear mongering from the likes of Lester Holtz! The “news” continually report people who test positive and show no signs of illness as “cases”. So of course if there is more testing going on there will be more ‘cases”, not deaths.

    I will not wear a mask along with hundreds of thousands of other Americans who think for themselves and do their own research. It’s a lie and it’s being used as a feeble attempt to control the populous. If it makes you feel safe go ahead and wear one, but don’t expect me to follow your example of virtue signaling and gullibility.

  7. Robert Smith

    I refuse to surrender my personal freedoms because some bureaucrat says to do so.

  8. David S. Blackwell RN, BSN

    There is a reason we evolved nose hairs i.e. God made us this way.

  9. Casca

    The Virus particles are many time smaller than the weave or pores of the masks.
    There has been no data, no reports that confirm that masks stop the virus particles from being exhaled or inhaled.
    After all these months or observation, in my opinion the masks are a political scandal. The Left wanting to force conformity and as part of their effort to shut down or keep shut down businesses, injure the economy,blame Trump, in their plan, to push socialism, for them as the answer, the future. The Liberator on the white charger scenario.

  10. Julie

    When I saw this story yesterday I thought this was likely due to an Obama holdover underling since the exact source was not named. Lee was right to ignore this recommendation.
    Also, keep an eye on CDC death rates for 2020 compared to previous years (they will likely use rate per thousand or something similar since our total population increases each year). If they don’t fudge their data (although the media will do that for them) you will see that there was not an increase in overall death rates in the US we just recategorized other deaths as COVID deaths.

  11. Mike

    Interesting how the governor of TN has not issued a statewide mask mandate yet Knox county has a mask mandate. The Knox county mandate was issued by a health department NOT accountable to the voters. Dr. Birx was successful in getting Knox county residents forced to wear maks. The Governor can not insulate himself from decisions of Knox county health department. The Knox county elected officials also appear to try to insulate themselves form health dept decisions. State legislative body needs to do their job.

  12. Tim Price

    The majority of deaths are in densely populated area of the state which already have mask mandates. Are masks nit not working or people in these areas not properly social distancing? Why punish rural areas of the state?

  13. Billy Jones

    Gov Lee is retarded

  14. Mary

    I refuse to wear a mask.

  15. David S. Blackwell RN, BSN

    This has nothing to do with Hot Chicken, Coca Cola, Narcotics and Obesity. I liken Coronavirus to any other. It’s similar to when you take an old 1955 ‘rust bucket’ to the mechanic. Here is a car which has been ‘rode hard and put up wet,’ left in the elements, never garaged, never had the oil changed, had cheap dirty fuel run through it, never had the plugs changed, tires rotated, etc. It’s on its last leg. The mechanic plugs his computer device into it and the code reads, and he looks at the owner and says, “You got a virus.”