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Healthcare startup’s simulation finds most critical coronavirus cases in Shelby, Knox

Source: Carrot Health COVID-19 Critical Infection Risk Dashboard

Shelby and Knox counties are likely to have the most critical — and fatal — cases of coronavirus in Tennessee, according to simulations by Carrot Health.

The estimates are based on scientific research analyzed against the healthcare startup’s database of demographic and behavior data on every adult in the country.

Under Carrot Health’s simulations, 529,915 Tennesseans will be infected, or 10% of the total adult population. About 27,580 cases, or 5.2%, will become critical, resulting in 5,517 mortalities.

Here’s what the projections find for the five most affected counties:

Adult population Simulated critical cases Simulated mortalities
Shelby 745,963 3,445 689
Knox 361,225 2,014 402
Davidson 504,611 1,704 341
Hamilton 291,970 1,571 314
Sullivan 136,685 1,321 264

See Carrot Health’s full Covid-19 Critical Infection Risk Dashboard here. Simulations can be adjusted based on critical infection and mortality rates.

Here is Gov. Lee’s revised budget plan amid coronavirus pandemic

Gov. Bill Lee speaks at a press conference on Tennessee’s coronavirus response in Nashville on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The governor’s revised budget proposal assumes Tennessee’s economic growth will drop from a projected 3.1 to zero in the coming fiscal year.

A detailed breakdown can be viewed here: FY21 Amendment Overview Schedule.

Here are the assumptions of his plan for addressing the fallout from the corona virus in the current budget year and next, as released by the governor’s office:

Recognizing the sudden change to our economic circumstances by:

  • Lowering our Growth Rate for the current year from 3.75% to 2.5%.
  • Revising our FY21 growth rate from 3.1% to basically zero.
  • Adding to our reserves: Rainy day: $1.2 billion balance at 6/30/20 & $1.45 billion balance at 6/30/21.
  • Making an additional $57M in base reductions.

New spending items that include:

  • Fully Funding the BEP Formula.
  • Fully Funding Higher Education outcomes-based funding formula.
  • Fully funding our Pension contribution.
  • Fully funding our OPEB Liability contribution.
  • Fully funding the inflationary growth in TennCare.
  • Fully funding the growth in DCS children in state services.

Adding resources to critical services:

  • DL Services.
  • State Road Troopers (10 Troopers).
  • TBI Field Agents (25 agents).

Continuing to address, not defer, the long list of deferred Capital Maintenance items in both state government and higher education.

Expanding services for our most vulnerable population.

Providing salary funding for state employees, higher education and K12.

Responding to the Tornado Disaster and COVID-19 by:

  • Adding $30 million to our Disaster Relief Fund for TEMA.
  • Adding significantly to our fund for emergencies to repair state buildings.
  • Establishing a new $150M fund to help us be responsive to Health & Safety Issues resulting from COVID-19.
  • Doubling our Local Government Grants from $100M to $200M (no county will receive less than $500,000 & no municipality will receive less than $30,000).
  • Strengthening our Safety Net for Mental Health and Health.

UPDATE: For the  budget amendment in text form, click here.

 

Lee calls on schools around Tennessee to shut down for rest of month

Gov. Bill Lee welcomes delegates to a summit on economically distressed counties in Linden on Aug. 13, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee is calling on schools around the state to close for the rest of the month to help stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic:

As the response to COVID-19 evolves, I urge every school district in Tennessee to close as soon as practically possible, with all schools expected to close by Friday, March 20, 2020 at the latest. Schools should remain closed through March 31, 2020 to further mitigate the spread of this infectious disease and we will issue further guidance prior to March 31. Superintendents and local leadership have the full support of my administration to determine effective dates for closure this week as they evaluate what is best for families within their respective districts. We understand the tremendous burden school closure places on families and we will continue to work with both the federal government and school districts to ensure we continue essential supports like meals for students in need. Every Tennessean has a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and I urge Tennesseans to be quick to help neighbors as new needs surface with the closure of schools.

Lee is scheduled to begin holding daily media briefings on the state’s handling of the coronavirus crisis on Monday afternoon. Reporters attending the press conferences will have to undergo coronavirus symptom and temperature checks prior to entering the room.

Trump says he will visit Tennessee on Friday following deadly storm

President Donald Trump says he plans to visit Tennessee on Friday in the aftermath of a deadly storm that left at least 25 dead.

“I want to send my warm wishes to the great people of Tennessee in the wake of the horrible and very vicious tornado that killed at least 19 people and injured many more,” Trump said in remarks at the National Association of Counties meeting in Washington on Tuesday.

“It’s a vicious thing, those tornadoes, I’ve seen many of them over a three-year period and I’ve gotten to see the results and they are vicious,” Trump said. “If you’re in their path, bad things happen.”

 

 

25 killed in Middle Tennessee tornadoes, legislature resumes regular business

At least 25 people have been killed in severe weather that tore through Middle Tennessee early Tuesday, including 14 in Putnam County alone.

The start of Super Tuesday voting was delayed by an hour in Nashville after a overnight tornado touched down in the city causing widespread damage. In addition to the Putnam County fatalities, three died in Wilson County, two in Davidson County, and one in Benton County.

The storm did major damage to the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville, just north of the state Capitol complex. A power outage at the Cordell Hull Building led legislative leaders to cancel all morning committee meetings. The cancellations meant a week-long delay of Senate hearings on an effort to cut the privilege tax for brokers, doctors, and attorneys.

But a decision to resume activities at 1 p.m. meant bills could still get hearings on implementing sweeping restrictions on access to abortions in Tennessee and allowing adults to carry firearms in public without a permit. Legislation to grant 12 weeks of paid leave for state employees to care for a new child or sick family member was put off by a week.

Gov. Bill Lee ordered all non-essential state employees in Middle Tennessee to stay home.

“We have activated the State Emergency Operations Center and are engaged with emergency and local officials throughout the affected areas,” he said in a statement. “Please join Maria and me in praying for the victims, their families, and all those tragically affected by this storm.”

Secretary of State Tre Hargett ordered the polls to open an hour late in Nashville, but they are still scheduled to close at the normal time of 7 p.m. Central. Nashville voters whose polling places were damaged by the storm can vote in alternate locations outlined here.

One heavily damaged building was the Basement East, a music venue in East Nashville that had been the site of a “Berniefest” fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Staffers cleaning up after the show huddled in the basement as the storm tore off the roof and destroyed a large exterior deck, according to reports.

The Monday evening event at the Basement East, which was heavily damaged by a tornado in Nashville on March 3, 2020.

 

Here’s what Democratic candidates have spent in Tennessee before the Super Tuesday primary

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg meets with supporters after speaking at a rally in Chattanooga on Feb. 12, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has made up three-quarters of the more than $10 million Democratic candidates have spent in Tennessee in advance of the Super Tuesday primary.

According to spending tracker Advertising Analytics, Bloomberg has dropped $7.7 million on broadcast televisions, cable, digital, and radio ads. Bernie Sanders has spent about $567,000, the Elizabeth Warren-supporting Persist PAC $446,000, and Joe Biden $179,000.

Among former candidates, Amy Klobuchar had spent about $817,000,  Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer $604,000, and Pete Buttigieg $40,000.

Here’s a breakdown from Advertising Analytics:

Advertiser Broadcast Cable Digital Radio Total
Bloomberg 5,305,465 451,482 1,438,611 474,386 7,669,944
Klobuchar 543,013 225,375  –  – 816,859
Steyer 446,931 42,848 79,705  – 604,057
Sanders 398,681 94,054 74,432  – 567,167
Persist PAC 371,415 74,971  –  – 446,386
Biden 166,141  –  – 12,697 178,838
Buttigieg  –  – 39,926  – 39,926
TOTALS 7,231,646 888,730 1,632,674 487,083 10,323,177

(This post has been updated to reflect Klobuchar dropping out of the race)

Tennessee AG joins effort to block Equal Rights Amendment

State Attorney General Herbert Slatery, right, speaks with Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) on the House floor in Nashville on Feb. 3, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery is joining four counterparts in Republican states in trying to block an effort to revive the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Virginia lawmakers last month ratified the amendment stating that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” Supporters argue that Virginia is the 38th state to approve of the language, meeting the requirement that three-fourths of states agree to amend the Constitution.

Opponents point to the a ratification deadline set by Congress was 1979 and that it was later extended only to 1982. Those deadlines are unenforceable, according to a lawsuit filed by Virginia, Illinois, and Nevada.

Tennessee lawmakers approved the amendment in 1972, but voted to rescinded their action in 1974.

Read the release from Slatery’s office after the jump:

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Speakers seek delay of sports gambling in Tennessee amid questions about draft rules

Senate Speaker Randy McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton await Gov. Bill Lee’s arrival for his second State of the State address in Nashville on Feb. 3, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Legislative leaders want the Tennessee Lottery to delay the approval of sports gambling rules. Senate Speaker Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) wrote in a letter to Lottery Chair Susan Lanigan on Friday that some of the draft rules are outside the scope of the gaming law passed last year.

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear Ms. Lanigan,
We would respectfully request that the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation Board of Directors and the Sports Wagering Advisory Council delay voting on the rules to implement the “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act.”

There have been concerns brought to our attention that some of the rules, as drafted, may be outside the authority given to the Board or Council pursuant to the “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act.” For example, there is concern that the additional categories of licenses created within the rules aren’t within the scope or authority of the Board or Council under the “Tennessee Sports Gaming Act.” Specifically, the Sports Pool Intermediary License and the Vendor License, and associated fees, are not authorized in the Act.

Please feel free to contact our office with any questions you have regarding this letter,

Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,

/signed/
Lt. Governor Randy McNally, Speaker Cameron Sexton

So are Tennessee-Georgia state line protesters a thing now?

A man waves a sign outside a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg in Chattanooga on Feb. 12, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The larger-than-expected crowd that came to see Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg in Chattanooga last week included a handful of protesters unhappy with the former New York mayor’s past positions on stop-and-frisk policing and for not being sufficiently supportive of legalizing marijuana. But one man stood out by hoisting a sign reading: “Move the Tn./Ga. state line.”

It’s unclear why the man chose that venue to publicize his demands. As far as we know, Bloomberg has not taken a position on the issue stemming from a more than 200-year-old surveying error that denied Georgia access to the Tennessee River.

Congress in 1796 designated the 35th parallel as the southern border of Tennessee. But the surveying team sent by Georgia to chart the state line in 1818 missed the mark by 1.1 miles. Correcting that error today would slice off the southern portion of Chattanooga — and do the same to Memphis in the west.

Georgia lawmakers have nevertheless passed resolutions calling for the maps be corrected, demands that have largely been ridiculed in Tennessee.

Photo gallery of Bloomberg visit to Tennessee

Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg visited Chattanooga and Nashville as part of his campaign strategy of targeting states voting on Super Tuesday and beyond. Here are some photos of the former New York mayor’ appearance in Chattanooga on Wednesday.

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg meets with supporters after speaking at a rally in Chattanooga on Feb. 12, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks during a rally in Chattanooga on Feb. 12, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg waits backstage to speak a rally in Chattanooga on Feb. 12, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

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