First lady diagnosed with COVID-19, Gov. Lee to address state

Gov. Bill Lee and his wife, Maria, at his inauguration celebration in Nashville on Jan. 19, 2019. (Erik Schelzig)

First Lady Maria Lee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and Gov. Bill Lee is planning to give a statewide address on the worsening pandemic on Sunday.

The governor has shown no symptoms but plans to quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Here’s a statement from Lee:

Maria began exhibiting mild symptoms of COVID-19 and it was confirmed this afternoon that she has tested positive. I am feeling well with no symptoms and have tested negative for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, I will be quarantining at the Governor’s Residence and still plan to address Tennesseans about the COVID-19 surge tomorrow at 7 p.m. CDT

36 Responses to First lady diagnosed with COVID-19, Gov. Lee to address state

  • Avatar
    steve cates says:

    What a sorry “leader” he is. Much of our trouble throughout this pandemic can be laid at the feet of him and 45 and other so-called leaders of their ilk!! It’s a wonder that more are not dead.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Actually to those who value freedom and liberty Gov. Lee is a great leader. What leftists don’t seem to realize that to a majority of Americans individual liberty is the first priority. That means freedom from government dictates as much as possible while it issues enough information so each person can calibrate his own behavior appropriately.

      There is no question hiding in a basement while a public figure, even while running for office, like President Elect Big Guy will result in it being unlikely that the official will ever get the Chinese Flu. In order to do that, however, you have to have the news and social media act as your PR Dept. a privilege that few Republican officeholders will ever have. On the other hand Bill Lee is 61 years old and Maria I would assume is a 55ish year old female. They rightly calibrated themselves at relatively low risk for this disease so avoiding public exposure to questioning or the Flu wasn’t as necessary as it was to the Big Guy.

      We are fortunate to live Tennessee, a state where our Governor treats the citizens like responsible adults considering their need to make a living, keep small businesses out of bankruptcy and not isolate loved ones unnecessarily. The important statistics is not how many contract this disease, but rather how many are hospitalized and especially in ICU. I am sure if we have reach a critical point in hospitalizations then we will have to tighten things up but certainly not until then.

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        Perry Aubric says:

        Stuart, you are a damn fool. “Leftists” aren’t stealing your freedom with a mask during a deadly pandemic. Doctors and scientists and responsible public servants are actually trying to save your life, even if you have never actually worked or contributed anything tangible to our society. Apparently a high Heritage Score can’t protect against a virus.

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          But a high Heritage score can protect us from humorless authoritarians like yourself Perry, and that is so important in times like these. You see how this works, when a reply is indented that means the replier is replying to the statement that is not indented or in some cases to another reply thereto. I am replying to you, you replied to me, I replied to steve cates. See?

          I interpreted steve to be whining about more than the lack of compulsory masking when he mentioned “45” especially insofar as compulsory masking is probably unconstitutional when mandated by the President. Besides, it is also ineffective. Who is going to enforce compulsory masking Perry? You expect owners/managers of stores whose jobs depend on satisfied customers to spend their time being mask enforcers in their stores? I’m confident that’s a job you would undertake with zeal Perry but most others, including the police and sheriffs, would not.

          So let’s review, steve was no doubt talking about much more than masks, I was replying to steve’s talking about much more than masks, and besides, masks mandates are unconstitutional at the federal level and ineffective at the local level. Nevertheless, it was good hearing from you Perry.

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        Jonathan Swift says:

        Once again Stuart demonstrates how conservatives live in a fantasy world where individuals know best and will behave appropriately. Anyone with half a brain (maybe even Stuart) knows that many individuals rarely make the best decisions on their own and need someone smarter to make those decisions for them. Wearing masks is inconvenient for all, but it is the most significant factor in reducing the growth of the pandemic until vaccination is widespread. Yet conservatives somehow figure mask-wearing is a horrible infringement on their rights and “individual liberty.” I have just as much right to live without infection by morons, as conservatives have a right to be arrogantly irrational. I know I am not the only one very weary of public health being politicized by conservatives.

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Again, I interpreted steve cates’ response as addressing much more than masks but how good of you to end your post Jonathan with some much needed levity to lighten things up a bit. At a time when the liberals with their stranglehold on the news and social media elected a President thanks to their using the Chinese Flu as an excuse for the Big Guy to avoid the public and answering questions to truly inquisitive reporters, you Jonathan are “. . .weary of public health being politicized by conservatives.” Priceless!

          • Avatar
            Jonathan Swift says:

            Really, Stuart? Fox News, the most watched news network, doesn’t seem to fit your “liberal stanglehold” narrative. Biden was elected not because of avoiding reporters, but because the majority of voters were tired and ashamed of the incompetent liar Trump, who was the biggest instigator of politicized public health.

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        MARLE says:

        Lee doesn’t need to wear a mask. So he shouldn’t be attacked for not doing so.
        Lee doesn’t need to hide in the basement.

        He will get the lifesaving drug therapy denied to nearly everyone else…. and so will his wife (continuity of government I thought was the rationale for these politicians getting special therapeutic interventions; not sure how she qualifies).

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Actually MARLE it’s the same rationale that saw Hunter getting $80,000+ per month from that energy company when his most intimate connection to energy was filling his car up with gas; it’s not “continuity,” it’s “connections.”

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Or Hillary filling up the Clinton Foundations while SHE, the donation seeker/and Sec of State got not one word of interest in investigating her from Trump.

            And peddling influence for money, as Hillary did and Hunter did, is NOT illegal. It could be if the Congress made it so but they PURPOSELY have not made it so. They too want to be free from prosecution when they or their relatives do it.

            And as for Hunter’s tax evasion…..that should be thoroughly investigated. And NY should do the same for the Trump family and Trump corporation. And maybe released those tax returns Trump said he’d have no problem making public when the “audit is finished” Liar Liar ….

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            And as for the continuity rationale is IS EXACTLY the rationale offered as all members of Congress jumped the Vax line yesterday. I’m just applying their Own excuse for vax to the excuse for why Trump, Carson, Giuliani etc got Monoclonal therapies.

        • Avatar
          Mel Russell says:

          I got the covid IV meds to remove covid from my body President Trump received. I got other life saving meds too. I’ve had this garbage 2 times this year. This last time it caused me to have a stroke on one entire side of my body. How well you do in your recovery also depends if you seek medical attention immediately or you fool around and delay treatment. Have some common sense and take care of this right away.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Thanks for sharing your story Mel and the advice. Do you have any idea how you contracted the disease? Do you have any disease or condition that might have contributed to your complications?

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Mel,

            The monoclonal IV treatment must be done in a clinical Infusion center. What hospital or clinic gave you this treatment (it is sitting on shelves in every state unused says one Manuf Eli Lilly) unused b/c infusion facilities have not SET ASIDE covid specific quarantined areas to treat positive patients. You can’t have them seated next to those receiving cancer IV’s

            It should be given within 10 days of getting symptoms Confirmed by a sensitive test. Problem seems to be that some states MD and SD for instance are making good use of this and Rep Byrd of TN is asking for prayers as he’s being put on a ventilator.

      • Avatar
        Phillip Lassiter says:

        He lies. He hires only democrats He May be a leader. But he is a very weak and easy to manipulate one. Actually, if he is considered a leader then I have lost faith in any leadership. Remember, he not only bungles Covid, but also refugee resettlement, gambling, school vouchers and all pro firearm bills

        • Avatar
          James White says:

          Refugee resettlement? The state has no say if the Federal Government settles refugee here or there, Any one can live Any where here in the 50 states. The courts affirmed this.
          School vouchers, may be another hook for the government to control, but they would have less control than the current government schools. Get the government out of ‘education’, they are destroying generation after generation.
          You can still have carry permits in Tennessee and maybe Open Carry.

  • Avatar
    Brenda says:

    Oh my goodness!! It is a virus! If we could stop this virus from spreading we could stop the common cold from spreading. People die yes that’s true. The elderly and people with conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes etc should be more cautious. Everyone else wash your hands and avoid crowds but live your life!!

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      10% of those with no co-morbidities have immune systems SO STRONG that they over react in the presence of a new virus for which they have no previous exposure. The phenomenon can happen in any healthy adult. So it is not the weak, nor the elderly, nor those with medical conditions.

      It is the healthy who get seriously enough ill to end up in the ICU or the morgue. Drs Fauci and Birx didn’t bother to inform us of this back in the spring. Nor going into the summer. They were idiots and we relied on them telling us it was the elderly and the weak. Either they lied or they were ignorant or both.

      But it is the health, if they are among these 10% who can get very very ill from this.

    • Avatar
      LeeAnn C. says:

      Yes! 50% of my family has contracted the virus and 100% have recovered. The incessant focus on number of “cases” is absolutely insane. Several friends that are older have also contracted the virus and have recovered. One, 80 years young, has/been in and out of hospital. A prediabetic, he is/having issues with high blood sugar now, but no respiratory issues. He wasn’t exercising enough caution and is suffering serious consequences for his choice. Don’t be foolhardy, but don’t expect businesses to shutter their doors. 50% of my family is also unemployed and struggling to find work. Take responsibility for your own health and do not expect others to give up their livelihoods.

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    Sharon Blankenship says:

    It’s easy to criticize leadership. It seems our choices have been to live in a state with lockdowns bankrupting restaurants and small business owners. Or we can somehow try to stay alive in a red state, try to follow the rules and stay somewhat afloat. Many are suffering, regardless. I pray for Gov. Bill Lee and his family during this time. I pray for people so quick to blame people who step up and do their best to balance life choices for all. I prefer elected people who still function publicly. I’m not sure how locking us completely will benefit anyone if this continues 2 or 3 years.

    • Avatar
      Sara says:

      WWII

      Sacrifices have been made in the past and can be made now. It’s hard to believe how selfish some people can be.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        World War II was an existential threat to the survival of the USA as a free country and the survival of millions of our citizens at all. This Chinese Flu has a lethality rate of about 1%. The vast majority will fall ill then recover without incident. We should evaluate the threat calmly then enact preventive measures cautiously in response to that threat. Drawing fevered analogies between the Chinese Flu and total war is not helpful.

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          What you are talking about Stuart is the concept of “acceptable casualty rate”. Every officer in war knows that death is inevitable. And a calculation of risk and reward gets made.

          Trump however, after being the one who described this as a war, was asked the direct question “what is the acceptable death rate”. His answer: “Zero”. That is the moron we HAD for president.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            And by the way…that proclamation was made early on. It was followed by gleeful dems who jumped on the bandwagon, thrilled that Trump had just set the course for countless shutdowns everywhere/anytime.

          • Avatar
            Beatrice Shaw says:

            and don’t forget he called the veterans who died in WW2 SUCKERS and LOSERS!!

        • Avatar
          Jonathan Swift says:

          Stuart, your medical expertise is as non-existant as the accuracy of your nomenclature (“Chinese Flu” indeed). Are you really that blissfully unaware of the serious and long-lasting effects that COVID-19 has caused in survivors? Since when is mentioning WWII as an example of sacrifice a “fevered analogy?” Stick to your Heritage score-keeping.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            I am a libertarian conservative Jonathan, therefore I tend to be a traditionalist. The pattern was set in the last pandemic with calling it the “Spanish Flu” though with little evidence that it originated in Spain. So in this case, with the virus causing the flu most definitely originating in China and spread by the government of China I am simply following tradition and calling it the “Chinese Flu.” The fact that Chairman Xi gets really angry when people do so simply causes me to do so with enthusiasm.

            I guess I should reveal that due to the Flu I have been living like a semi-recluse since last March. Do my errands always with mask beginning at 7:15 AM, visit my ex once a week AND THAT’S IT week after week. I live that way due to the fact that I am particularly at risk from Chairman Xi’s gift to the world. That is my decision after doing my personal cost/benefit analysis. When driving through Vanderbilt campus I see a lot of others who are in much different circumstances making much different choices. I see many stores doing a thriving business on 21st Ave. That’s the individual freedom that allows each to make his own decision that I am interested in preserving as long as is reasonably possible.

            You can draw a comparison between any two or more things you want. Comparisons are only effective, however, when the things being compared are comparable. Total war and a disease that in the vast majority of cases results in no or relatively mild symptoms are not comparable IMO.

  • Avatar
    Paul says:

    According to statistics easily available on the internet, 5731 persons from the state of TN died in WWII. At this point, in less than a year (obviously WWII lasted a lot longer), 5960 persons from the state of TN have died from COVID….and counting of course. While I’m sure that number is not much relative to those who are fixated on “freedom” and “scores” from some hallowed conservative think tank specializing in bloviating for dollars, these are real people and, well, they’re dead. It’s not a fevered analogy to point out we’ve lost more residents of our state than all of WWII in less than 20% of the time for that global conflagration. Remember when conservatives were pro-life? I sure do. Lots of money and air time spent on that particular talking point. Now we see that there are lots of qualifiers involved…..no real surprise there, even on the part of Bill Lee, who plays the part well with a furrowed brow and concerned look from time to time.

    In the mind of folks like Stuart, these deceased folks apparently all made high minded decisions about their liberty and their life and chose poorly; the invisible hand of the market of life and liberty has spoken in conservative fantasy land, where all humans are rational actors who will always choose in their best interest. And if their self-centric best interest, real or imagined, is negatively impacting the interests of the rest of us? Well, we just can’t have the state interfering with that anyway…..laws are just some abstraction that really can’t be invoked here, because it’s all about liberty, 3rd party nation-states out to do us harm, and some abstract virus that hardly kills anyone anyway. Move along, nothing to see here, no leadership required or wanted. Never mind the medical costs, time lost to illness, and so on to the “vast majority”, since “the vast majority will recover without incident”. Presumably the magic hand of the market will also make all those residual impacts “free” to the vast majority.

    Unfortunately the rest of us have to live in the real world. For the conservatives and libertarians out there though, have no fear, Bill Lee will never ever ever formulate a plan that impedes “liberty” even if we double or triple our death score on this particular front. This speech will be a high minded appeal to something or another, but, alas, in the end it will be just more gesturing without action. You can bank on that.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Good post Paul, well thought out and argued.

      All too often something serious is analogized to war, especially WW II, and I believe speciously so. When the restrictions on American citizens were put in place soon after Pearl Harbor it was by no means certain that we would win that war, and certainly not without the herculean effort that it ultimately took. The Spanish Flu pandemic had healthy young adults in the prime of life being stricken and dying within hours of feeling ill. The Chinese Flu is by no means as lethal so it is by no means as threatening as Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini ruling the world or perfectly healthy young adults dying within hours of being stricken. Therefore, government needn’t enforce many of the extreme measures we see around the country that some are advocating here in Tennessee.

    • Avatar
      Phillip Lassiter says:

      Yes, maybe-but none of the octogenarians in my town are dying of heart attack or stroke-just Covid. No one is dying of the flu. Statistics are way inflated

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        Go to the CDC website where demographic data is listed. THERE you will see that there is a Column that has Covid deaths and a Column that has ALL deaths (by age groups).

        You will see that in the age group under 35 there are 10’s of thousand MORE deaths from ALL than a miniscule number from Covid. Even in the 80 yr and above there are Way more deaths from ALL than from Covid.

        Your assumption and Assertion that all deaths are being chalked up to Covid is not accurate. Does that even matter to you. Have YOU gone to the CDC’s website or are you taking your flawed information from so-called news outlets?

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Swift says:

      That was an excellent reply, Paul. Even Stuart acknowledged it, but immediately dived back into the deep end of his misinformation pool. Wow, “Chinese Flu” again: not medically accurate, not clever, not really traditional.

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    You can lead a republican to Covid… but you can’t make them wear a mask!

  • Avatar
    Cannoneer2 says:

    I just can’t gather any sympathy for the Governor or his wife on this. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce will have sympathy. I hope the Chamber along with other business interests wrote him a nice speech to give this evening. Two of the primary reasons Tennessee is in the lead with runaway virus cases are Bill Lee and his smartypants Commissioner of the Department of Health.

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    This is a sad state of affairs for the Governor, his own wife is sick with it and so are many of his friends but he doesn’t have the first clue how to stop the spread of this virus and won’t listen to health officials.

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