NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Governor Bill Lee is facing criticism from doctors and advocates after comments he made during a national T.V. appearance last week.
During a national appearance on Fox News' town hall forum on May 26, Governor Lee discussed Tennessee's response to the pandemic. He also claimed that children do not get severely ill from COVID-19.
“If you want to follow the science, you wouldn’t have kids in a school wearing masks when kids do not get sick from COVID,” said Gov. Lee.
After the appearance, his office put out a statement that said more than a year's worth of data shows there is almost no risk of children being infected or becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
Dr. Sara Cross, who works on Governor Lee's Coronavirus Task Force, said that his comments were untrue and concerning. She told a sister station in Nashville that state leaders were not doing enough to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“What concerns me as a parent is the utter ignorance of our government leaders and the disregard they have for the health of our community, they are ultimately calling the shots regarding the health of our children and their loved ones,” she said.
Doctors said that the best solution to keep people safe is to vaccinate as many people as possible against COVID-19. However, Tennessee is lagging behind many states in vaccination rates.
In late May, officials said that Tennessee was around 32.5% vaccinated against COVID-19. They said nearly half of all American adults were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.