A special session of the Tennessee General Assembly needs to be called. Joe Biden drew a line in the sand and has challenged us to cross it. Tennessee’s leaders and elected officials have a choice to make. We are either on Joe Biden’s side or on the side of Tennesseans. We must address Biden’s executive order, vaccine and mask mandates, parental rights, excessive quarantining, stronger vaccine passports, and protections against harassment and coercion.
President Joe Biden’s executive order will attempt to have the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration force businesses with more than 100 employees to threaten or coerce workers be vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19. Biden ordered OSHA to introduce an Emergency Temporary Standard for the vaccine requirement. It calls on large entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or testing to enter. Businesses that ignore the policy, once it’s in place, could trigger penalties of up to $14,000 per violation. This radical policy could devastate Tennessee’s entertainment industry and drive away tourists, fans and customers. Either you are on Biden’s side or the side of Tennesseans.
Biden’s policy will impact over 80 million workers in private sector businesses, 50,000 healthcare providers and cover a majority of health care workers across the country. The plan includes requirements that teachers and staff at Head Start and Early Head Start schools get vaccinated. The Biden Administration is calling on all schools to set up regular testing in their schools for students, teachers, and staff. It also provides the Food and Drug Administration the resources to support a review of vaccines for children under 12.
With respect to the new mandate for federal workers, the new vaccine requirement will apply not just to the roughly 2.1 million federal employees but also to the millions of contractors that do business with the government. This changes an earlier executive order and will no longer allow regular testing to serve as a substitute for vaccination for federal workers.
In his speech on 9/09/2021, President Joe Biden threatened governors and other state elected officials with retribution and removal from office if they stood in his way. I say bring it on. I took an oath to protect the rights of Tennesseans and that is what I will do. It is obvious Joe Biden has exceeded his executive powers. It amazes me that Biden is willing to embrace and work with terrorists in Afghanistan while at the same time violate the constitutional rights of Americans at home. The same President that abandoned American citizens to a hostile power.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in Title VII and the ADA require an employer to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who, because of a disability or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance do not want to be vaccinated. That right to seek the best option for each individual and one's family is critical to defend. No government entity or business should ever have the right to force any person to put a liquid substance into their body against their will.
No Tennessean, no American should ever be forced or coerced into accepting any medical treatment, procedure, or vaccine. Any policy that would terminate Tennesseans' employment if they refuse a medical procedure is a violation of the intended framework permitting conditions of employment in our state reflected in the Right to Work and the At-Will provisions under Tennessee Law.
All 73 members of the Tennessee House of Representative have called for a special session. I respectfully ask Governor Lee and the State Senate leadership to join the State House in calling for a special session. Enough is enough. We need a General Assembly Special Session to protect the rights of Tennesseans. Tennessee is a great place to live, work and own a business. Let's keep it that way.
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Most of the Tennesseans I know want this pandemic to end or else they are on a vent in a hospital. We are number one in the nation per capita for COVID cases. Our numbers are way up. Obviously your leadership is not working.
Perhaps you don't like Biden and that is fine with me, however, at least he is trying to do something about the pandemic while the rest of the leaders in Tennessee sit back and do nothing. Stop your posturing and do something about the pandemic.
I am sick about hearing about peoples' right to choose. What about our children who don't have a say in the matter? Don't they have the right to go to school and be safe?
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Mandate is a soft word for dictatorship. If we are forced to accept these mandates, I mean dictatorship orders, our freedom is soon to be doomed.
As far as children not being able to speak for themselves until they are old enough to truly understand the consequences or their choosing they must rely upon parents, family or guardians to make decisions for them just as we relied on those same people when we were very young. Mom and Dad would never let me drink the kerosene and I feel sure Mrs. Hills wouldn't either.
Every individual should have the freedom of choice while not being dictated to, I mean mandated to.
My best to Ms. Hill.
Michael G. Mansfield
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Just to be sure, I agree with the rebuttal to Mr. Rudd from Ms. Hill. I had an opinion piece posted here last week and practically begged no-one to make a political statement, but of course they did. Ms. Hill and I agree that pure logic and empathy apply to the citizens of this state not politics. Yes we are not the largest state or the most populated state in the U.S. but we have the most COVID infections of any state in the country. I saw reported yesterday that we had over 35,000 new cases in 24 hours.
So now we have a politician begging to have a special session just to deny Biden's federal mandate. For God's sake tell me what's wrong with either getting the vaccine or being tested weekly to be sure you don't infect your co-workers. If you don't want the shot then allow the company to test you once a week, no COVID then go to work and if you have COVID go home.
I saw a NFL game the other day where all you had to do to go to the game was use an app that showed you had the vaccine or you had been tested in the last three days and the stadium was packed. It seems Mr. Rudd is more interested in revenue than he is peoples' lives or is it he just doesn't want to see Biden stop this disaster so he or anyone of his party gets elected next time.
We have to stop this madness, because I am seeing daily more friends, family and acquaintances in the obituaries due to this pandemic. I ask as an employee of any business, do you want someone coming to work with COVID who hides it just so they can get a paycheck and cares less about how many co-workers become infected?
As far as school children go, they really have no say in the matter or care. It's the parents who demand their children wear no masks and hopefully you have seen the news lately and seen how many school children have been infected.
Mr. Rudd, maybe you have been vaccinated or not , I don't know, but my advice is to stay out of this and let the grownups who dealt with polio, mumps, measles and tuberculosis deal with it.
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Ms. Hill, when you say Tennessee is number one per capita in COVID cases but you didn’t address where the largest concentration of cases occur-the most populated counties.
The Tennessee Department of Health reports the average active cases for Tennessee from Sept 7-14 were 7,162 cases. Six of our 99 counties account for over one third of active cases during that time: Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Montgomery, Rutherford and Shelby. The remaining cases are spread out over the other 93 counties with seven countries in the single digits.
What this fact tells us is the more densely populated a county, the more likely this virus, any virus, is to spread and in larger numbers. Shelby, Davidson and Knox are roaring through the virus with over 500 active cases per day on average.
Rep Rudd is opposed to Draconian measures that would penalizes all Tennessee workers for not getting vaccine. He is also speaking on behalf of those other 93 counties where the active cases are averaging a fraction of the six counties I addressed earlier.
As I’ve said before, our Hamilton County hospitalizations are high because around two-thirds of those counted are not Hamilton County residents. That’s likely true in Montgomery, Shelby and Washington Counties also.
Let’s not fall victim to more politics than facts in deciding what’s best for all. I believe that was what Joe Biden and many other Democrats said when they were disparaging the vaccine when Donald Trump was President.
Our duly elected representatives, 73 to be exact, want to convene to discuss the best course for the state to take in battling this virus from China. That’s their job, Ms. Hill. Perhaps they will agree to focus more attention on the six to 12 largest populated areas and demographic groups most likely affected.
We don’t need to fire people in countries with fewer than 10 average cases because a confused man in DC says we should.