Physicians pan Gov. Lee's 'safer at home' COVID-19 order, says it's not strict enough to save lives

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Gov. Bill Lee speaks during the 2020 Atlas Cross Sport reveal at the Volkswagen Assembly Plant on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn. The five-seat Atlas Cross Sport, which takes design cues from its larger seven-seat Atlas SUV, will hit dealerships early next year, according to the German automaker.

NASHVILLE - A Franklin, Tennessee, physician is sharply criticizing Gov. Bill Lee's "safer at home" coronavirus executive order issued Monday, calling it "weak leadership" that is generating public confusion.

"This order doesn't go far enough to save lives and keep Tennesseans in their homes," said Dr. Aaron Milstone, a pulmonary specialist treating COVID-19 patients in Williamson County, in a statement and video. "Gov. Lee's weak leadership has created confusion, and that in turn is undermining the strong, early steps many of our cities' mayors took to protect families."

Milstone said that "some Tennesseans are separating from others, but many are not - and this means this virus keeps spreading. Urging separation is not enough."

Lee's Executive Order 22, one of two he signed Monday, cites a "Safer at Home" policy. It states "because staying at home as much as possible for a temporary period of time will protect the health and safety of Tennesseans by limiting the spread of COVID-19 and preserving health care resources, all persons in Tennessee are urged to stay at home."