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Will a mask commercial entice you to wear one? Tennessee Governor Bill Lee hopes so

The latest addition to the "Face It, Masks Fight Covid-19" campaign is out.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The new installment of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee's mask campaign, "Face It, Masks Fight Covid-19," features an older Tennessean masking up so he can continue doing what he loves. 

"I’ve worked my family’s land for years. My diabetes and high blood pressure have never held me back. I never miss a harvest. I never miss a Sunday service. And I never miss a Sunday dinner. And I always support my community," the man said in the commercial. "But COVID-19 could change that. I choose to live my life, that’s why I wear a mask. Face it. Masks fight COVID-19."

The advertisement is to encourage the responsibility of wearing masks as the state battles the rising number of Covid-19 cases. Since Monday, there have been more than 14,000 new cases reported. 

“As Tennesseans across our state continue to face this pandemic, we must all remain vigilant and make the responsible choice to wear a mask in our daily lives,” said Gov. Lee. “Tennesseans in our rural communities are more likely to be older and have underlying health conditions, putting them at even greater risk to COVID-19. We should take every precaution to ensure we’re protecting ourselves, our families, and our vulnerable neighbors by choosing to wear a mask as we await the distribution of a safe and effective vaccine.”

Is this advertisement money well spent or should Gov. Lee simply issue a statewide mask mandate? Rep. Tom Leatherwood, R-Arlington, thinks these commercials are effective. 

"I think they do inform people, so they serve that informative role," Leatherwood said.

Leatherwood disagrees with a statewide mandate saying, "one size does not fit all." He said the spread of Covid-19 in urban Shelby County is much different than rural Lake County. Currently, it is up to individual counties if they want to enforce a mask mandate. 

"The circumstances in the different counties and the different cities across the state can vary widely," Leatherwood said. 

While the concern over the rising number of cases in non-partisan, some Democrats, like Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, said the state needs a mask mandate. She posted on Twitter the importance of following health guidelines to minimize the spread. 

Local 24 News has reached out to Gov. Lee's office about the cost of this advertisement campaign but has not yet heard back. 

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