VETO attacks on health and safety

Governor Bill Lee:

We all want freedom from COVID. Our elected officials should be focused on making a better future for ALL Tennesseans. Instead, misguided politicians in the General Assembly are stuck in the past STILL fighting over COVID safety measures. Now your General Assembly has rushed through legislation that puts the health, well-being and lives of EVERY Tennessean, especially our unvaccinated children and those who are immunocompromised, at risk.

Veto the extreme attacks on health protections from covid passed by the Tennessee General Assembly.

The legislature considered little to no input from business owners, teachers, doctors or public health officials. 

This anti-science, anti-mask and anti-vaccine attack on health protections makes our state less safe as it will hinder our ability to respond to potential surges in our current pandemic as well as impair our response to future pandemics. Several of our top infectious disease experts, public health officials and epidemiologists have voiced their concerns as well.

By vetoing this dangerous legislation, you would be siding with science, allowing public schools, hospitals, businesses and music venues to continue their mask and vaccine requirements that keep teachers, students, employees, customers, patients, musicians and tourists safe. The fact that the bill allows private schools to have mask requirements but not public schools is reason enough to veto a bill that will inevitably result in lawsuits and cost our state even more taxpayer money than it already has. Public school children deserve safety as much as those in private schools. 

Our doctors and healthcare workers have a duty to do what’s best for the health and wellbeing of our communities. This bill hinders the ability of the medical community, specifically the state medical and nursing boards, to investigate and punish doctors and nurses that deliberately spread misinformation and lies related to masks, vaccines and the covid virus itself. Instead, extremist politicians in your state legislature refuse to move forward, obstructing the authority of the very health experts who are charged with a commitment to protect the health and safety of all Tennesseans.   

Please remember the hard lesson learned by the governor of Arkansas who lived to regret signing a law banning mask mandates in that state when the pandemic surged again and they were left without a way to protect their citizens. The fact is that the covid omnibus bill would limit the powers of our state’s biggest public health departments as well as the ability of the governor to declare states of emergency. We could end up woefully unprepared should the covid virus surge again as we enter the winter and what experts are concerned could be a bad flu season.

It’s time to move forward together. Instead of attacking COVID safety measures, creating yet more uncertainty for business owners, workers and parents, we should focus on making the future better for all of us, starting with investing in our public schools as much as we are investing in giant corporations, and investing in making health care more affordable for ALL.

I, along with those signing this petition, urge you to VETO these attacks on public health protections.

Katrina Green, MD
Emergency Physician
Nashville, TN