The Associated Press reports:
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, strong instructions that the White House and governor did not discuss publicly before the report emerged in a records request. The Oct. 11 state report for Tennessee, where Republican Gov. Bill Lee has let counties decide whether to require masks in public, first came to light in a records request by WUOT-FM.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he was not in favor of mask mandates, but the recommendations of the task force and public health agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have often been at odds with the White House’s rhetoric. The report takes the strongest tone to date in urging Tennessee to act, though Lee has made it clear for months that he did not think masks should be required across the state.
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