On Friday, Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued an executive order that has many Tennesseans concerned that it gives the state permission to call out the State Guard and National Guard “in connection with certain health care and emergency services operations.”
A statewide conservative coalition with influence called Tennessee Stands has said they believe the governor’s orders are “exceptionally concerning.”
Some things contained in the order sound like something out of Orwell’s 1984 and it’s disturbing coming from a Republican governor. Things like the construction of “temporary quarantine and isolation facilities.” Wait, what? What does Bill Lee know that the rest of us don’t? Why do they need isolation facilities?
Another item in the order is “Telephone assessments for involuntary commitment cases are permitted.” Involuntary commitment? At first, that does not sound good and it makes it seems like the state is expecting an awful lot of COVID cases, so many that telephone assessments will be necessary because on-the-ground staff will be overwhelmed with people.
It’s been explained though that assessments of patients who are going through a mental health crisis can be done by telephone for involuntary commitment cases and, for that to happen, the pre-screening agent must be reasonably unable to evaluate them in person.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) August 6, 2021
Under the order, out-of-state health care providers will be allowed to practice in Tennessee, and retired medical professionals will be able to easily reenter the health care workforce. Again, what does Lee know that we don’t? Why does he believe a more dangerous outbreak will come to Tennessee, especially when hospitalization numbers are down compared to last year regarding the Delta variant? Between most people being vaccinated and herd immunity, there is no real reason to act like the world is coming to an end.
The order allows out-of-state health care providers to practice in the state so long as they’re helping to treat COVID-19. It also allows retired medical professionals to reenter the workforce more easily by the Commissioner of Health granting them a license, certificate or registration to show they are still allowed to practice.
The order also gives permission to recent graduates of nursing school who haven’t yet received their license to practice under supervision.
For some, the executive order appears to be nothing more than the state expanding health care resources to handle COVID-19. But whenever you read involuntary anything ears perk up. People start to question what’s going on, and what’s going to happen?
You can read the full executive order HERE.
Gov. Bill Lee quietly issued a new executive order yesterday on August 6th with little fanfare. Here are a few things in the EO that we find exceptionally concerning.
5. Behavioral health inpatient psychiatric residential, and crisis care staffing flexibility is permitted pursuant to an approved plan to relieve the capacity strain on certain staffing functions.
7. Health care student staffing flexibility is permitted in inpatient psychiatric and behavioral health settings pursuant to an approved plan to relieve the capacity strain on certain staffing functions.
**8. Discretion to utilize National Guard and State Guard members in connection with certain health care and emergency services operations.
**14. Telephone assessments for involuntary commitment cases are permitted.
16. Medical laboratory directors can monitor facilities remotely.
**18. Temporary quarantine and isolation facilities may be constructed.
19. Inspection of mental health and substance abuse facilities and services are suspended.
20. Health care licensing inspections and investigations are suspended to increases resources available to fight COVID- 19 and to protect public health.
21. Inspections of health care facilities are suspended.
One Facebook users responded, “CoVid has been around long enough that emergency measures are no longer needed and the legislature should be making the calls.”
Another said, “The pieces add up to a very scary picture !! People need to wake up.”
“I would like to know the specific scenarios and situations that would need to take place in order for these actions to be implemented. They are too open ended and vague which leads to open door interpretation and neglected use which would not work in our best interests. We need to demand specificity.”
“We need to call, share and emails all reps of the state and tell them we will not comply with any Covid restrictions. We can’t live in fear!” one woman replied.
“Sounds like I can basically start my own mental health facility now with no license and no oversight.”
Why are so many people gravely concerned about an executive order that is basically preparing the state for any type of COVID emergency should one arise? Given the leftist’s false hype of the Delta variant, Governor Lee is simply trying to prepare the state to be able to deal with a reality that matches the hype. It would be irresponsible to not do so.
I blame the fear on a lack of leadership at the very top. The Biden administration has screwed up the COVID vaccination messaging so badly that Americans are now believing an authoritarian state is in the making and they now fear what their government is going to do to them. From talk of lockdowns and mask mandates and vaccine passports to forcing vaccinations on people who don’t want to take it, our country is in the stages of going full totalitarian state and once you understand that, the fear makes sense.
Executive Order 83 will remain in effect until Oct. 5 and supersedes the governor’s previous order, the nature of which was meant to help state leaders facilitate economic recovery and stay compliant with federal programs.