Tennessee executive order is expired, didn't make 'quarantine internment camps' | Fact check

The claim: Video shows Tennessee executive order for 'quarantine internment camps'

A Sept. 11 video (direct link, archive link) on X, formerly Twitter, shows different sections of a document being displayed on a computer screen.

"Many states have recently signed executive orders to build quarantine internment camps across America," reads the video's caption. "This is frightening! What are they planning?"

The video was reposted more than 4,000 times in nine days. It was shared more than 100 times on Facebook, according to Crowdtangle, a social media analytics tool.

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Our rating: False

The executive order shown in the video is legitimate, but it expired in late 2021 and would not have created "quarantine internment camps." The section in question was meant to let hospitals use extra space as alternative care sites.

Executive order didn't create 'quarantine internment camps'

While the video shows a legitimate executive order, it leaves out important context and misrepresents its impact.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed Executive Order 83 on Aug. 6, 2021. He explained in a social media post that the mid-pandemic measure was meant to create "certain regulatory flexibilities" as hospitals responded to the pandemic.

The number of new cases being reported in the state was rapidly climbing at the time, averaging more than 2,800 a day when the order was signed, according to The New York Times.

The order was initially set to expire Oct. 5, 2021, but it was extended by two additional executive orders until Nov. 19, 2021, when it expired. There are no other extensions in a list of the governor's executive orders on the Tennessee Secretary of State's website.

The video specifically mentions a part of the order called, "Temporary quarantine and isolation facilities may be constructed," which suspends a section of the state's code in order "to allow for the construction of temporary structures, the plans for which would otherwise be subject to review."

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It became a subject of misinformation at the time, too, prompting Lee's legislative director, Brent Easley, to write to state lawmakers clarifying that it didn't – among other things – create quarantine camps, according to The Tennessean.

The section in question "provides flexibility for hospitals to set up alternate care sites on their grounds, such as tents in parking lots or use of a conference room to treat patients," Easley wrote, according to The Tennessee Journal. "This flexibility was included so that medical facilities can have this tool in their toolbox if extra space is needed."

There are no credible reports of executive orders setting up "quarantine internment camps" in other states, as the post claims. The number of COVID-19 infections in the U.S. has been going up since early July, but the overall totals remain far below previous peaks, as USA TODAY previously reported.

Reuters and Lead Stories also debunked the claim.

When reached for comment by USA TODAY, the user did not provide evidence to support the claim.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: No, Tennessee order doesn't create quarantine camps | Fact check