MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Let me be blunt. A recent White House directive that Tennessee impose a statewide mask mandate to slow the spread of COVID-19 is meaningless. Of course, we all should be wearing masks in public, whether you’re in an urban area or a rural community. But the White House statement is a joke.
For one thing, the Trump Administration has zero credibility on this issue because of the President’s repeated disdain for wearing a mask. He continues to hold large campaign rallies where essentially the only people wearing masks are those who can be seen on camera standing behind Trump.
Plus, remember that Governor Bill Lee stubbornly refuses to issue a statewide mask order. He says that decision should be left to local communities.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus cases continue to rise. Sunday brought an increase of 2600 new statewide cases over the number reported on Saturday. So far, just over 2900 Tennesseans have died from the virus, including 550 Shelby County residents.
With those numbers, you would think that those in charge would be following the science that says wearing masks slows the spread. But no. We have a President whose only concern is getting reelected, and a governor who has never figured out how to be a leader.
So the White House can issue all the directives it wants. Just know they are a waste of time and words. And that’s my point of view.