NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The White House quietly told Tennessee early this week that a statewide mask mandate “must be implemented” to curb its growing spread of COVID-19.
The White House and Republican Gov. Bill Lee did not discuss the recommendations publicly before a report emerged in a records request and was first reported by WUOT-FM.
Lee has let counties decide whether to require masks in public.
The report takes the strongest tone to date in urging Tennessee to act, though Lee has made it clear for months that he does not think masks should be required across the state.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.