Coronavirus chairman in Congress demands Tennessee, Georgia 'red zone' report

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn speaks at the University of South Carolina, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

NASHVILLE - The Democratic chairman of a U.S. House coronavirus panel on Wednesday sent letters to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and two fellow Republican governors seeking documents on recommendations the Trump administration privately made on the states' respective COVID-19 surges and whether the states followed them.

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, chairman of the recently formed House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, noted in his letter to Lee - who met here Monday with White House Coronavirus Task Force head Dr. Deborah Birx - that the administration privately warned "Tennessee is in the red zone for cases ... and the red zone for test positivity."

"This unpublished report recommends far stronger public health measures than the White House has called for in public or than the state currently requires - including mandating face masks, closing bars and gyms and strictly limiting gatherings," Clyburn's letter reads.