An executive order signed quietly by Tennessee’s Republican governor is troubling some Americans as it greenlights the National Guard and State Guard to implement quarantines and involuntary commitment of citizens “in connection with certain health care and emergency services operations,” with the governor specifically concerned about “an increase in COVID-19 cases.”
Gov. Bill Lee signed Executive Order 83 on Friday “with little fanfare” according to Tennessee Stands, an influential conservative coalition.
I signed Executive Order 83 reinstating certain regulatory flexibilities for our hospitals that are responding to an increase in COVID-19 cases. https://t.co/y0HQvstPYN pic.twitter.com/Mv2UgJSx8e
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) August 6, 2021
The group says it found some of the provisions in the executive order “exceptionally concerning,” including:
- “Discretion to utilize National Guard and State Guard members in connection with certain health care and emergency services operations.”
- “Telephone assessments for involuntary commitment cases are permitted.”
- “Temporary quarantine and isolation facilities may be constructed.”
Fox News journalist Todd Starnes collected reaction on social media, with one commenter saying:
“Wow! The guard will be utilized? Involuntary commitment? And construction of quarantine and isolation facilities? Thought all of that was just a silly conspiracy theory.”
“The pieces add up to a very scary picture!! People need to wake up,” another concerned citizen wrote. “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.”
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