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Tennessee Democratic leaders discuss "complete reset" of state's COVID-19 response

The state lawmakers say Gov. Bill Lee waited to shut down businesses until too late.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Democrats came together virtually Tuesday to discuss a complete reset of the state's response to COVID-19.

They say Governor Bill Lee shut down the economy too late and reopened too soon, with what seemed like little regard for the health and safety of Tennessee lives.

State Senator Raumesh Akbari of Memphis suggested some ideas, like listening to the experts and creating a statewide mask requirement.

They also discussed creating jobs by increasing the contact tracing program, statewide enforcement for Tennessee Pledge guidelines for businesses reopening, and providing assistance for families who aren't able to isolate safely to prevent spread in households.

"These are some really simple things that can be done by our administration, by our governor that can make a big difference in the health and wellbeing of those in our state,” said St. Sen. Akbari. “Because, ultimately, at the end of the day, Tennesseans deserve to have regulations put in place that will keep them safe."

State Senator Katrina Robinson of Memphis is currently serving in Corpus Christi, Texas, as numbers continue to spike there. Based on what she's seen, Robinson echoed Akbari's sentiments about the mask mandate and says leaders should track the hospitalizations and deaths to see how the true impact the virus is happening on our economy as we reopen.

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