NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee late Wednesday said he would use of law enforcement to make some people comply with his executive orders trying to lessen the impact of COVID-19.
During his daily briefing on the virus, he said “if guidance or specific executive orders are ignored then we will use that enforcement as appropriate. We want people to know you are defying guidance here and it’s actually very serious.”
Governor Lee’s response came after a question about his order banning gatherings statewide of 10 or more people.
“When this sickness can be mitigated, the spread of it, the rapid nature of it and consequently the challenges to our healthcare system because of it…when it can be mitigated by behavior, we are serious about that behavior,” said the governor.
He added that “we have had conversations in our office about what (enforcement) would specifically look like” and “when folks don’t comply we want to enforce.”
The governor went on to say “the vast majority of Tennesseans are complying…they are not gathering.”
He finished by saying “where there is a disregard for life in this state, we will enforce.”
The governor did not add when such policing might occur, who might actually do it or the number of law enforcement officers across the state who might be involved.