NASHVILLE — (April 2, 2020) A coalition of 2,000 doctors that began March 20 petitioning Gov. Bill Lee to follow health expert advice and issue a statewide stay-at-home order has grown to include another 9,500 medical professionals from Tennessee’s medical societies and 31,000 citizens.
That coalition now includes former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Republican Dr. Bill Frist who added his name to the petition today.
“Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Republican Dr. Bill Frist adding his name to our petition shows Gov. Lee someone within his own party leadership acknowledging that lives and the economy are intertwined. You cannot save one without the other.” said Dr. Milestone a pulmonary specialist who is treating COVID-19 patients. “Dr. Frist is joining the 11,500 TN medical professionals calling on Gov. Lee to heed the warning we’ve been sending for nearly 2 weeks and that message is that the medical community is united, citizens are united, and now members of his own party are joining us in uniting behind a Stay at Home order to save lives.
The group of doctors, which already includes some of the biggest names in the state’s medical community, has added one more as Gov. Lee is prepping thousands of pop-up patient beds to meet “surge” capacity at a time there are barely enough medical workers to meet current COVID-19 demands.
“There is no division among doctors. We are united in our call for an immediate stay-at-home order — from people serving patients at our smallest hospitals to the biggest, most trusted names in our medical community,” said Dr. Aaron Milstone. “Prevention is the best cure to protect our hospitals and healthcare workers from being overwhelmed by a COVID-19 patient surge. We need a stay-at-home order and we need it now.”
About the TN Doctors and Health Care Workers Advocacy for a for a Stay at Home Order
- 2,000 doctors and health care workers original letter sent back on March 20th.
- An online petition launched March 20th by healthcare workers invited Tennesseans to help grow demand from citizens across the state for Gov. Lee to start listening to doctors. That petition has grown to over 28,000 Tennesseans as of March 30th.
- Decisive, early leadership by city mayors with their own letter and city-level actions on March 21st.
- On March 22nd, doctors behind the letter responded to Governor Lee’s failure to act early or decisively on the urgent plea of health experts.
- "In the absence of a statewide order at this point, your local orders can help protect our population and save lives." said Dr. Elise Denneny, MD and Dr. M. Kevin Smith, MD, PhD, President and President-Elect of the Tennessee Medical Association in a letter to all mayors in Tennessee Friday, March 27th.
- The Tennessee Nurses Association joined on March 30th.
- Saturday, March 28th, 26 states with Stay at Home orders