Tell the Governor:
Listen to Health Experts
Hello, my name is [your name] and I'm a voter in Tennessee.
(wait for reply)
We cannot reopen schools or the economy SAFELY without first addressing the health crisis.
I am disappointed that Gov. Lee has refused to be the leader he was elected to be. His rejection of health experts since MARCH, his refusal to take responsibility for leading in this crisis, and providing Tennessee with a comprehensive statewide plan to get COVID under control has made things worse.
Gov. Lee rush to reopen the state against the advice of health experts, has refused to mandate masks and his passing the buck on his responsibility to local school boards and mayors to figure out how to deal with a global pandemic all on their own IS. NOT. WORKING.
I'm calling because I want to see Gov. Lee take responsibility.
[optional: share why it's important to you personally that the State focus on expanding health coverage right now]
The interventions needed to safely reopen schools are the same interventions the medical community has been saying for months are required to safely reopen our economy.
- Less than 10 new cases per 100,000 persons per day for at least 14 days in a row. You want low incidence AND stability. A major challenge is the silent spread of COVID-19 through populations. The virus can be transmitted in the 2-3 days before symptoms begin (the presymptomatic window) and can be spread even by infected persons who never develop symptoms at all (asymptomatic people). This is not a pandemic that can be controlled simply by isolating symptomatic people.
- Expanded contact tracing and regular reporting to inform school reopening. Parents, school staff need to know that people coming in contact with COVID are isolating, and not endangering children, teachers or families. If contact tracers are behind on notifying those exposed to COVID then people don’t know if they have been in contact with COVID and should isolate. If contact tracing is keeping pace we can be more confident those exposed to COVID are isolating, and not in schools endangering others.
- Ensure rapid and regular testing. A test today only shows whether you are infected today, and that does nothing to determine whether you get infected tomorrow. If testing is behind or slow then people don’t know if they should isolate and contact tracers will struggle to notify exposed people before they endanger others.
- Mask and distancing requirements with penalties for people who endanger others. When people refuse to wear masks or stay apart it threatens everyone else. When people ignore speed limits they are fined for endangering others. In this health crisis not wearing a mask and not staying apart endangers the lives of others. Parents need to know that people around their children (staff, other children, visitors) are required to wear masks and keep 6 feet apart or face penalties for endangering their children and family.
- Have accountability for employers and people who endanger others: Require employers to have safety measures in place to protect workers and the public and a way to hold them accountable when they don’t. If an employer is endangering the public or their workers, workers need a way to hold them accountable. Educators must have safe working environments and employers or parents who routinely endanger them must have consequences that protect the safety of our teachers.
Rushing to reopen the schools without first Tennessee getting COVID-19 under control will bring the same result Tennessee has seen since the rush to reopen the state in May: avoidable increases in hospitalizations and deaths, but this time those increase will be concentrated among avoidable hospitalizations and deaths among children, teachers and their families.
What can I expect?
(wait for a response, ask them 'why' and tell us what they say on the form at the right!)
- Gave your name, let them know you're a constituent
- Let them know you're calling to ask that the Governor ask for federal approval for flexibility on medicaid
- Share why it's important to you that our state expand health coverage right now
- Share a personal story about the importance of health coverage
- Ask if you can count on the Governor to take this action, why or why not. (take notes)
- Share what you learn with us!
How did the call go?
This page is a project of Tennessee’s ProtectMyCare Coalition.