Manny Sethi

Flinn weighs in on ‘good, bad, and ugly’ of coronavirus crisis response

Republican U.S. Senate candidate George Flinn is weighing in with his views on the “good, bad, and ugly” of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Flinn, a Memphis physician and radio station owner, criticizes people who refuse to engage in social distancing and calls out members of Congress who allegedly sold stock holdings because they had advance warning of the effects of COVID-19.

“These actions, if proven true, are not only unfair but also illegal according to federal law and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Flinn said in a statement.

Flinn is seeking the GOP nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) this year. His main rivals are former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty and Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi.

Read the full statement here:

As a physician, businessman, and politician, and most importantly as an American just like you, we are all affected by the many sides of this pandemic and the multiple ramifications it is reeking on our society. There are three main sides to this pandemic. First, the ugly.

THE UGLY — There are certain groups of people who refuse to pay attention and heed the national, state and local public health rulings and CDC guidelines. They continue to congregate in close quarters seemingly not caring what happens to others and appear to only be concerned with their personal satisfaction. They believe that this is not a real problem in the United States. The worldwide experience and history of this viral pandemic are ignored. This attitude and these actions keep the viral spread more active and continues the threat of overwhelming healthcare and economic systems. It thwarts our efforts to “flatten the curve” and benefits no one. 

Congress passed a 2.2 trillion-dollar bailout bill that President Trump signed into law on March 27, 2020. This bill, called the CARES Act, is intended to re-energize our economy by helping individual citizens and employees through direct payments, enhanced unemployment benefits and through small businesses and corporations. The goal is to make sure people continue to have money coming into their homes and provide money to people to spend and keep a portion of our economy going. Already, a small percentage of the population is planning to “game the system” and receive more than their fair share of the 2.2 trillion dollars. For this small sector, greed is not dead.

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Sethi: ‘Human lives will always be more important than dollars’

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi speaks at a campaign event in Clarksville on Feb. 4, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi is outlining his plan to for economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sethi, a surgeon at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, said while it’s important to get Americans back to worth, “human lives will always be more important than dollars.”

“Our economy will not bounce back if portions of the workforce are seriously ill or do not survive,” he said.

Here’s the full release from the Sethi campaign:

NASHVILLE, Tenn – Conservative outsider and Republican candidate for Senate, Dr. Manny Sethi released his plan to get America back to work today. Dr. Manny, founder of a public health advocacy nonprofit in Tennessee, believes our country can get people back to work and protect the health of Americans at the same time, but it must be done in a thoughtful and deliberate way.

We saw unemployment numbers reach record numbers this morning. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, much of the American economy has been shut down, hurting American workers, businesses, and families in a way we haven’t seen before.

This morning 3.28 million new claims were announced, which is already higher than any past economic crisis, including the 2008 market collapse and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Previously, the highest number of jobless claims was 695,000 in 1982.

While economic revitalization is imperative, human lives will always be more important than dollars. On Thursday, Dr. Manny released the following statement and plan:

“Tennessee is still dealing with this issue, but at some point America cannot sustain a long, drawn-out shutdown. We must start working immediately on ways to get our citizens back to work and our economy moving. Our economy will not bounce back if portions of the workforce are seriously ill or do not survive. In the operating room, when things are moving fast, I’ve learned we have to slow down and think through the best way forward, instead of overreacting.

“I would recommend tackling this region by region, state by state, community  by community. This is not a one-size-fits-all solution for the whole country. Some communities and states will recover from this virus breakout sooner than others. As the threat lessens, these areas need to start lifting restrictive mandates and get their economy back to work.”

Dr. Manny’s proposal to get America back-to-work entails:

  • Federal authorities should work with states to identify when it is safe for individual communities to start lifting mandates once the health threat decreases in their respective areas.
    U.S. health officials should also work with state governments to assess quarantine and containment strategies based on evolving evidence.
  • Companies should be encouraged to continue to utilize telecommuting as much as possible. This will slow the rate of return back to the public workplace. Tax credits and other incentives should be provided to incentivize companies to put the health and safety of employees first, without losing their business.
  • Utilize the Defense Production Act, if needed, to produce medical equipment such masks, gowns, and ventilators. Pass legislation that gives American companies incentives to produce such equipment in the United States.
  • Immediately begin to shift production of Chinese and foreign-made pharmaceuticals to the United States. This is a national security issue, and there is an immediate need for many important drugs to be produced here, and a need to immediately phase-in production of many others.
  • Continue to implement international travel bans and strongly caution Americans to avoid non-essential domestic travel until national health officials approve.

Sethi to ‘scale down’ campaign events due to coronavirus

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi speaks at a campaign event in Clarksville on Feb. 4, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi says he is dialing back campaign events in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As a trauma surgeon, I know the first thing you always do is stop the bleeding. As a result, our campaign is taking strong steps to prevent the spread and threat of COVID-19,” Sethi said in a release. “Yesterday, the CDC recommended no gatherings of over 50 people for the next eight weeks. In order to keep Tennesseans safe, I am scaling down campaign appearances and events.

Sethi said his staff will also engage in social distancing by working remotely.

“We have an excellent team statewide who are working to win in August, and they will continue to do so from the safety of their own homes,” he said. 

Sethi outlines plan to tackle spread of coronavirus

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi speaks at a campaign event in Clarksville on Feb. 4, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate Manny Sethi, a surgeon at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, is outlining his plan to tackle the spread of the coronavirus.

“We must stop listening to the Wall Street elites, who are more worried about not spooking the markets and their pocketbooks, than they are about protecting Americans,” Sethi said in a release. “And we must start listening to the doctors and researchers who have been sounding the alarm on this.”

Here’s the full release from the Sethi campaign:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On Monday, President Trump announced an emergency funding request to address the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19). 

Dr. Manny Sethi, candidate for U.S. Senate, applauded President Trump, called on Congress to act quickly, and released his own plan for how to handle the international epidemic.

Dr. Manny released the following statement and eight-point plan: 

We have a massive international crisis brewing, and need something as bold and ambitious as a Manhattan Project-style effort to combat it.

I appreciate President Trump’s stand to defend Americans from this contagion. Congress must act quickly and give him what he has asked for, without politicizing the issue by adding extraneous requests to the emergency funding bill that have nothing to do with the coronavirus.

We must stop listening to the Wall Street elites, who are more worried about not spooking the markets and their pocketbooks, than they are about protecting Americans. And we must start listening to the doctors and researchers who have been sounding the alarm on this.

Let’s direct every resource available at developing an accurate, reliable screening test capable of identifying virus victims quickly, and stopping them from unknowingly spreading the virus.

Time is not on our side – we need thousands of researchers working on this around-the-clock, which means Congress must give the President the funding he needs to fight this crisis.

It is my sincere hope and prayer that this crisis ends being less terrifying than it looks right now. But hope isn’t a strategy – we need our leaders to take every step we can to protect Americans and be prepared.

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Poll: Gov. Bill Lee has 55% approval rating

Gov. Bill Lee arrives for his second State of the State address in Nashville on Feb. 3, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican Gov. Bill Lee has a 55% approval rating going into his second year in office, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they disapproved of the governor’s performance, while 18% were unsure.

Lee’s popularity was highest among fellow Republicans, 79% of whom viewed him favorably, while 26% of Democrats had a positive view of the governor. About half of independents approved.

The pollsters also asked respondents how they would vote in head-to-head matchups in the U.S. Senate race. Respondents said they would prefer Republican Bill Hagerty over Democrat James Mackler by 55% to 33%, and Republican Manny Sethi over Mackler by 46% to 35%. Mason-Dixon did not release details on the GOP primary matchup between Hagerty and Sethi.

The poll of 625 registered voters, including 247 Republicans, 207 independents, and 171 Democrats, was conducted between Jan. 28 and Jan. 30. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Sethi raises $500,000 in fourth quarter

Republican U.S  Senate candidate Manny Sethi raised $500,000 in the fourth quarter and had about $2 million left on hand. The Sethi camp said about $1.7 million was earmarked for the primary campaign.

Here’s the release from the Sethi campaign:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dr. Manny Sethi, conservative Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, announced that his campaign raised over $500,000 this past quarter and will show nearly $2 million cash-on-hand in his campaign’s financial disclosure to the Federal Election Commission due January 31. Since June, this campaign has amassed nearly 7,000 donors, from all 95 counties and all 50 states, with a median donation of $25.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support across our state. This quarter is yet another sign that Tennesseans want to send a conservative outsider to Washington,” said Dr. Manny Sethi.
“Dr. Manny continues to rack up significant support and is investing in a powerful campaign apparatus. With our organization and the significant war chest we have amassed to spend on the primary, we are in a strong position to win the GOP nomination,” said Chris Devaney, Campaign Chairman of Dr. Manny for U.S. Senate.
Of the nearly $2 million that the campaign has on hand, over $1.7 million is eligible to be used for the August Primary, with under $250,000 donated towards the General Election in November.
The candidate made no personal loans to his campaign in this quarter.

New Manny Sethi ad focuses on faith

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi has released a new ad titled “Faith.”

“I gave my life to Christ after my dad died when I was 22 and realized my greatest calling is to serve others. So I went to medical school and became a trauma surgeon,” Sethi says in the spot. “I’ve tried to honor my dad’s memory, serving the Lord with medicine, trying to make a difference, working with the least of these. Now, there’s another place where I think I can make a difference: the United States Senate. ”

Here’s the ad:

Sethi calls for transparency over TVA coal ash site

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Manny Sethi is urging the public to submit comments about the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plan to to open a 65-acre site near the Kingston Fossil Plant, first as a source for fill material and later as storage for coal ash.

The collapse of a leaking, six-story earthen dam in at the Kingston plant in 2008 released more than a billion gallons of coal ash. It is the biggest industrial spill in modern U.S. history, according to The Associated Press.

Here is the full release from the Sethi campaign:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority is seeking public input on a proposed new borrow site, which would open a 60+ acre site on TVA land at Kingston Fossil Plant. There are fewer than 10 days left for the public to comment on the proposed site. 

Recognizing it is an asset to our state, Dr. Manny Sethi, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, believes TVA needs more transparency to serve Tennessee best.

“East Tennesseans deserve transparency. I strongly encourage Tennesseans to make their voices heard by submitting a comment to the Tennessee Valley Authority regarding new plans for the Kingston Fossil Plant,” said Dr. Manny Sethi. 

Below is Dr. Manny’s comment, which he is submitting to TVA:

It is important for the Tennessee Valley Authority to step forward and be responsive to questions that Tennesseans have about Kingston. After all the problems we have seen with mismanagement of facilities and clean up, it is imperative to get this right for the safety of Tennesseans.

East Tennesseans deserve transparency and detailed information from TVA as this process moves forward.

I believe that open meetings are an important part of transparency. I encourage TVA to open each of their meetings to the public. As Senator, I would follow the lead of the Tennessee Legislature in calling for TVA to have open meetings.

The borrow site will provide material for current and future TVA projects, including a storage landfill for coal ash.

To submit a comment, go to Comments can be submitted through December 21, 2019.


Happy Thanksgiving from assorted Tennessee politicos

Happy Thanksgiving from The Tennessee Journal. And, as Twitter reminds us, from an assortment of public officials and those aspiring to join their ranks:

Mackler blasts GOP opponents for Blackburn tweet

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate James Mackler is criticizing his Republican opponents for being “clones” of Republican Marsha Blackburn, who was elected to the chamber last year. Mackler, a former Army helicopter pilot, took aim at comments Blackburn made about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified in the congressional impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Blackburn has said she stands by a tweet that stated: “Vindictive Vindman in the ‘whistleblower’s’ handler.” Republican candidates Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi have defended the president and condemned the House probe.

Mackler closed his law practice after the Sept. 11 terror attacks to join the Army. He spent three years as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot for the 101st Airborne Division, which included a deployment to Iraq. He later served as a military prosecutor for the Judge Advocate General Corps.