Mask wearing has become another source of division in Tennessee and across the U.S.
Some Republican leaders, including state lawmakers, have refused to wear them. But many medical experts say it’s one of the more reliable tools to fight the spread of the pandemic. That list includes Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, who addressed mask-wearing Thursday.
“I want to remind you that masks are not a political statement. They are a sign that you care for your neighbor and you care for yourself. So please wear them anytime you’re out in public,” Piercey said in the state’s weekly pandemic briefing.
Her comments come as the state is rolling out a new initiative. The “TN Strong” mask movement includes thousands of donated masks that feature designs from pro sports teams, universities and corporate brands.
It also comes as case counts are climbing in Tennessee, which Piercey says officials “expected” as more businesses have reopened.