16 of 27 Senate Republicans agree: Get vaccinated

The Tennessee Senate meets on June 1, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Senate Speaker Randy McNally, Majority Leader Jack Johnson, and Caucus Chair Ken Yager are among a group of 16 Republicans in the state Senate signing onto letter urging Tennesseans to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“This should not be political,” the senators say in the letter.

Others signing the missive are Sens. Richard Briggs, Todd Gardenhire, Ferrell Haile, Ed Jackson, Jon Lundberg, Becky Massey, Bill Powers, Shane Reeves, Paul Rose, Art Swann, Page Walley, Dawn White, and Bo Watson.

Eleven Republicans declined to sign on. They are Sens. Paul Bailey. Mike Bell, Janice Bowling, Rusty Crowe, Joey Hensley, Brian Kelsey, Frank Niceley, Mark Pody, Kerry Roberts, Steve Southerland, and John Stevens.

The Senate’s six Democrats were not asked to participate.

Here’s the full letter:

Dear Tennesseans,

Although we have made progress, COVID-19 is not over. There has been a recent spike in the number of cases, which includes the virus’s more contagious delta variant. A strong majority of these cases are among those who are not vaccinated. And virtually all of those currently hospitalized with COVID-19 have not been vaccinated.

As people across our state are exposed to the spread of this deadly virus, we strongly urge Tennesseans who do not have a religious objection or a legitimate medical issue to get vaccinated.

The vaccines have been found to be safe and effective against COVID-19. If they had been available from the start and widely used, over 600,000 American families that are mourning the loss of a loved one, along with tens of thousands of people who are awaiting lung transplants, or trying to learn to walk again, would have avoided that heartache.

Vaccines have been saving lives for over a century. As a result, polio and smallpox have been eradicated and measles, mumps and rubella are rare. Building on these 20th century medical breakthroughs, the COVID-19 vaccines were developed utilizing high standards and the best medical technology available.

Even the new mRNA technology, which has caused some people to be vaccine hesitant, has been around for decades. The mRNA vaccines teach your body how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response, without using a live virus. This technology is found in essentially every pharmacy, medical office and laboratory. Recombinant DNA technology has almost completely replaced insulin obtained from animal sources for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes with great success for over 30 years.

We are well beyond the COVID-19 vaccine trial stage. Nearly 338 million doses of the vaccines have been administered in the U.S. with few adverse effects. Please compare the very rare instances of side effects with the more than 600,000 deaths in the U.S. which have occurred due to COVID-19. The facts are clear — the benefits of the vaccines far outweigh the risks.

Under no circumstances will the state of Tennessee require mandatory vaccines or vaccine passports for adults or children. We recognize this is a personal choice. However, we urge every Tennessean to consider the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine and talk to your doctor about their recommendations on the best way to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19.

Unfortunately, efforts to get more people vaccinated have been hampered by politicization of COVID-19. This should not be political. Tennesseans need factual information to make educated decisions regarding their health. Please consider looking at the facts which are presented by Vanderbilt University Medical Center or the New England Journal of Medicine, both which are among the most respected health resources worldwide.

Every life lost to this virus is tragic. The COVID-19 vaccines save lives. Again, we strongly urge all Tennesseans to study the facts, talk to your doctor and get vaccinated.

Signed,

Randy McNally, Jack Johnson, Ken Yager, Ferrell Haile, Richard Briggs, Todd Gardenhire, Ed Jackson, Jon Lundberg, Becky Massey, Bill Powers, Shane Reeves, Paul Rose, Art Swann, Page Walley, Dawn White, Bo Watson

59 Responses to 16 of 27 Senate Republicans agree: Get vaccinated

  • Avatar
    David Collins says:

    Jeeze, does everything they do up there have to be partisan? Would it have killed them to have it be a bipartisan letter? Crap like this is why everything so screwed up and both party’s are guilty. Both sides continuously play these infantile partisan games while the state and the county are going to hell in a hand-basket. And why didn’t the entire Republican caucus sign the letter? Is it because they have ten members who still think this pandemic is a hoax? Or are they like their federal counterparts and too gutless to speak out. Hell, even the governor and both U.S. Senators from Alabama are vocally encouraging people in their state to get the vaccine. What are ours doing? Well, Lee started out going the opposite direction until he became a laughing stock on every legitimate national news outlet and then he quietly reversed his position. Our two in the Senate? Couldn’t tell ya. They have not said a word but if I were a betting man, I’d bet you they both got their shots a long time ago.

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      I doubt they even care this wave is thinning out their base. If they do anything like this it’s because of money. The Lincoln Project went after Oracle and Amazon after Lee fired Dr. Fiscus. Apparently it worked because even crazy old Kerry Roberts supported Lee’s decision to reinstate vaccines without parental consent.

      Money talks.

    • Avatar
      ted risner says:

      Dims would just bluster, stonewall, add things then subtract things. If language about CRT and climate change isn’t inserted then it will be a racist letter. A week will pass and the original letter would finally come out.

      • Avatar
        Carla Hudson says:

        Stop listening to Q. You haven’t a clue what CRT is. It’s never been taught in K-12 and never will be. It’s taught in colleges. Why you republicans think otherwise is mind-boggling.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Carla, how nice for you and your friend ted risner to get together and participate in this forum. I assume ted is a friend of yours because you seem to know what ted knows and what he doesn’t know and you couldn’t possible know that from ted’s short post on this thread. More importantly, Caucasian parents all over the country are reporting that their children are feeling depressed about the color of their skin because of what they are being taught in school and are outraged at the racist content of materials their children are forced to read.

        This divisive garbage might not carry the title “CRT” but its poisonous content is apparently being disseminated far and wide. For example, the country’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association recently passed a resolution proclaiming that it’s “reasonable and appropriate” to include CRT in curriculum and they set up “a team of staffers” to help teachers fight anti-CRT efforts.

        So there you go Carla, thanks to your participating in this forum your mind need be boggled by Republican anti-CRT efforts no more. Welcome aboard and Carla, and by the way, why don’t you stop that “Q” stuff, it makes you seem so foolish.

      • Avatar
        Taxpayer #314 says:

        16 out of 27 is not bad for a starter – but those 16 are about SIX MONTHS LATE, the rest of the 27 are hopelessly lost conservatives that refuse to see the truth.

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Fix the Roads !!!!

  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    So little, so late. What next? A missive that the earth isn’t flat after all. Cue the trumpets.

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Swift says:

    These hypocrites have the nerve to publicly say “Unfortunately, efforts to get more people vaccinated have been hampered by politicization of COVID-19. This should not be political.” Yet they and their party leaders
    have politicized the entire response to the pandemic, and continue to do so.

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    A nothingburger. It’s a personal decision and if it isn’t political why are a bunch of politicians opining. It is reasonable for a group of Republicans to get together and speak out if that’s what they choose to do. No particular reason for them to include the Democrats, House Republicans, County Mayors, or anyone else. They didn’t do it as a caucus because a number of Republicans (a good number recipients of grants from the SIAECPCF) declined to sign. Our two great Senators neither of whom have medical degrees apparently feel they are not qualified to give medical advice and since it isn’t a political matter they have declined to opine. I certainly hope our Senators have their shots as I have mine but that has absolutely nothing to do with whether they sign onto some meaningless letter advising others to do the same.

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      I know you think you had convinced them the best way to grow the party is by alienating everyone, but maybe they decided to stop taking your amazing political advice. Maybe a deadly pandemic of unvaccinated Republicans isn’t such a great electoral strategy after all.

      • Avatar
        Taxpayer #314 says:

        Killing off your constituents and your voters is NEVER a good way to expand your party but some of the Conservatives apparently have not figured that out yet.
        An interesting special election took place in Texas yesterday. The highly touted, Trump supported GOP canadate for the TX House seat, Susan Wright, was totally rejected by the GOP voters in Texas. Susan Wright, you may remember, was the wife of the former Representative who was very outspoken against the vaccine, social distancing and mask wearing. He died of Covid a while back! She is one of Stuarts “no record” candidates so maybe that is why she lost, or could the trump fever be dying off?

        • Avatar
          Cryan says:

          Mike Lindell is going to have to audit the Wi-Fi routers in that district now. Can’t the man get a break? I guess you don’t need much sleep when you’re sleeping on a MyPillow® premium pillow.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            And they’re now in every imbecile’s price range now…from 69.99 down to a low, low $29 !
            Republicans self implode any further it’ll be one of those slippery slopes~

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    The enemy wants to divide the people and the country. By Race, Sex, Religion, Wealth, …. Medical Status….

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      Only anti-CovidVaxx support an Article V Constitutional Convention. Do you support an Article V Constitutional Convention, Jim, or did you get your shot?

    • Avatar
      Taxpayer #314 says:

      Nobody, including Trump himself, wants to comment on Trump’s and the GOP terrible day yesterday as the 1-6 Committee had one after another people testify about the Insurrection in DC. He apparently is really pissed at all the Capitol Police that placed the blame directly on the FORMER President. Then Trumps’ loss at the polls in TX with Wright’s defeat and a few other public events that did not go his way (nor to the liking of the GOP.) Lots of finger pointing going on in the GOP these days. People are waking up and things don’t look too good for the Trump family or the GOP/Conservatives. The truth is slowly coming out, but it’s coming! These are mainly self-inflicted wounds stemming from the original BIG LIE. It is not always the crime, it is usually about the cover-up that gets `em.

  • Avatar
    MARLE says:

    To those who raise the objection to the vaccine on grounds it was “rushed” and not fully approved by the usual processes:

    I thought Warp Speed was something Trump and his supporters (overwhelming in TN) bragged about All The Time. Why didn’t you all speak up and tell him not to waste the money b/c anything less than 3, 4 or 5 years in approval was DANGEROUS and going to be the excuse you offer (among others) to refuse vaccination.

    • Avatar
      steve cates says:

      You are thinking of reasonable, logical thinking and speaking. This is not their forte!!

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    ________________________________________________________
    I’M STUNNED!!! Marsha voted in favor of having women register for the draft. What a stupid needless virtue signaling move. That was a bad one Marsha!

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      She also voted to certify Joe Biden as president. Trump would be rolling in his grave if he’d taken hydroxychloroquine.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Tommy Tuberville (Heritage-96%) also voted “Yes”. Never heard that he recruited women for the Auburn football team. Wonder why? FOOL!

      One of my favorite Senators Josh Hawley (Heritage-90%) voted “No”. Watch Josh, he is the future of the Republican Party.

      • Avatar
        Cryan says:

        GQP Civil War

        Trump will snap Josh Hawley like a twig in the 2024 primary

      • Avatar
        Jason Wallflower says:

        RINO Josh Hawley is not the future of the GOP. Can’t be.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Jason, Josh is one of the most conservative members of the Senate. He votes with the left about 10% of the time. He is not a “RINO” as informed people use the term. How are you using it Josh? Without explaining how you are using the term you appear to be either a troll or an uninformed boob. Which is it?

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            And Ilhan Omar votes with conservatives 40% of the time according to the Heritage Foundation. That’s more than Republican leadership.

            What is your obsession with cleanshaven men like Hawley and Casada?

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            Anyone who entertains the idea of challenging Trump in the 2024 primary is a RINO. “Anyone” includes Josh Hawley.

          • Avatar
            Taxpayer #314 says:

            Only clean shaven white men need apply in Stuart’s book.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Lost your tongue Jason? That’s OK. Readers I vote “leftist troll” so I believe anything Jason says should be regarded accordingly.

          • Avatar
            Taxpayer #314 says:

            And some believe that Stuart could be considered an uninformed ultra-conservative boob. He thinks he is THE expert on this Political Blog, he and he alone can decide how to label all posters. Just dismiss his rambling, long and boring posts.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          WRONG YET AGAIN TAXPAYER! There are certain labels in general use that are simply a convenient way for identifying things and enables people to communicate. For decades “RINO” i.e. Republican In Name Only is an acronym used by conservatives in the Republican Party to describe other Republicans who ignore the platform of the party and vote with the Democrats a significant amount of time. I had nothing to do with creating that label which is understood around the country.

          Of course, anyone can appropriate any label to mean whatever they want it to mean, e.g. I can call a sandwich with pastrami and lettuce on rye a “ham sandwich” if I wanted to – perfectly legal! If I do so when I order a “ham sandwich” in a restaurant I better explain what I mean. If I don’t explain and I get a ham and cheese sandwich when I expected pastrami and lettuce and I complain – you can see the problem. Of course Taxpayer, if my goal is to simply cause confusion and problems, in a restaurant they would call me a jerk. On this forum when someone like Jason uses the term “RINO” without further explanation and he applies it to the sainted Josh Hawley where it’s wildly inappropriate, I call that being a leftist troll insofar as no one that uninformed participates in a political blog as much as Jason. Why anyone would want to grow up and have nothing else to do other than being a leftist troll, I leave that for you to answer Taxpayer.

    • Avatar
      James White says:

      Marsha is Deep State

    • Avatar
      ted risner says:

      She also bailed on the President. All she does is talk. You put her in a decision making position and she has to circle back to donors, chinese, polls and safe rooms.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      I would think marsha’s move would be applauded by you….she has clearly put a finger in the air to determine what is the Best Re-election move. People like you who Only choose the lesser of 2 evils are not going to bail on her (what with her heritage score being to your liking). And mark green is NOT going to challenge her.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Totally absurd MARLE, Marsha (Heritage-87%) will cruise to re-election in 2024 probably without serious opposition in the primary or general. If she put her finger in the air she will have felt not the slightest breeze. If there are 1,000 people in this state who want women to register for the draft who voted/will vote for Marsha I will be surprised.

        People like me wouldn’t think of “bailing on her” just because of a few lousy votes, not so long as she continues to bat 87%. Marvelous Mark Green (Heritage-96%) is going to be our next Governor after 2026. He wouldn’t dream of challenging Marsha nor will anyone else of significance I bet. The SIAECPCF is proud to have contributed serious money to every Marsha race in which she was seriously challenged since 1992, and I am happy to say she will be our Senator for however long she desires to continue to give us great conservative representation.

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          So does this vote Count in her heritage score? How do we know if THEY consider this worth counting.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            No, so far they have not counted the vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            I’m not sure, but I don’t think Heritage counts votes in committee since only a small number of members of Congress sit on each committee and subcommittee to put them in position to cast votes in those forums you couldn’t compile a score that’s comparable between each member if you counted votes that most were not eligible to cast.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            So she can vote to draft women for the first time in US history (talk about Cancel Culture!!!) and her stupid heritage score remains the same. It all depends, as I always say, in WHAT is being measured.

            This…….is ……why….heritage scores are useless.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Right you are MARLE, because they don’t count votes in committee and subcommittees lets throw the whole shebang out so we rubes can sit here blind without a clue as to what these pols are doing in Congress and the General Assembly so come election time a Lamar Alexander can campaign telling us how he should be re-elected so he can continue to serve as a “. . .down-home-Tennessee-conservative.” No thank you, I’ll stick with those Heritage/American Conservative Union scores.

        • Avatar
          Taxpayer #314 says:

          The same Marsha who rode on the private NRA sponsored plane ride out to Vegas with Martina, the Russian Spy. They both attended the National NRA Convention and had their rooms paid for by the NRA, just before the NRA came under investigation. Martina split the US and ran back to Russia before she could be charged for illegally funneling big money into Trump’s campaign. Marsha just went back to Nashville like nothing happened.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            That’s because “nothing happened” unlike your ideological soul mate Eric Swalwell (Heritage-7%) who was carrying on an intimate relationship with a Miss. Fang-Fang, a Chinese spy who hotfooted it back to Red China as soon as she got word that the Feds are comin’. Naturally, that moron was sitting on the House Intelligence Committee during his romance where this trusty guardian of our nation’s secrets continues to sit today.

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            What is Elise StefaniKKK’s score?

          • Avatar
            Taxpayer #314 says:

            So, it is Fang-Fang VRS. Martina, is that your position? Who is the most wanted for the harm caused to our country? Not sure you even have a case there but that has never stopped the Conservatives from spouting off or telling the lies they need to get an edge.

  • Avatar
    Kosdh III says:

    “They are Sens. Paul Bailey. Mike Bell, Janice Bowling, Rusty Crowe, Joey Hensley, Brian Kelsey, Frank Niceley, Mark Pody, Kerry Roberts, Steve Southerland, and John Stevens.”

    Cull the Herd!

    • Avatar
      Eddie White says:

      After reading the letter I am not sure what these 11 senators found objectionable. It was well written and simply encouraged Tennessean’s to look at the evidence and then get vaccinated. It was certainly not threatening or punitive. I talked with my primary physician yesterday and he feels strongly that our only hope of getting out of this is through vaccinations. Nothing wrong with our political leadership supporting our medical folks. I think Gov Lee could have done a better job of supporting vaccinations.

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    _______________________________________________________
    HEY EVERYBODY, CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION:

    I just received a call from Josh Mandel up in Ohio. He needs to raise $1,000,000 before August 31st. HE IS THE CONSERVATIVE CHOICE!!! He has the endorsement of the Club For Growth and the Senate Conservative Fund. Ohio primary is May 2022. This is one of the races in the 3 1/2 Lamars Retirement Project. If you have any spare change to spare, please consider Josh’s race. Thank-you.

    • Avatar
      Cryan says:

      JD Vance raised 10× that amount from one donor. Good luck!

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      He needs a million? You can easily cover that.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Very true MARLE but supporting candidates requires diversification just like investing in stocks. I explained to Josh the methodology of the SIAECPCF and as you can imagine he was amazed and gave me his undivided attention. First the Fund makes sure all conservatives in Tennessee who are being annoyed by some significant centrist/tepid conservative Republican or more unlikely some Democrat receive significant grants. If there is any money left over the Research Dept of the Fund swings into action and chooses races throughout the nation to receive a grant that will give the Fund the biggest bang for the buck. Needless to say, the SIAECPCF looks forward to making a significant grant to one or more races in the 3 1/2 Lamars Retirement Project.

        I explained to Josh that it was simply too early for the Fund to make grants now. I assured him however that his race loomed large in the Fund’s consideration and he may very well be the recipient of a grant well before the May 2022 Ohio Republican Primary. You can imagine how pleased he was and he promised to keep in touch,

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          Yes. Like a dog being shown a sirloin I bet he did give you his undivided attention. For u the fun and the control is in the promise for as long as you can string this out. Once the FUND makes its last donation that undivided attention fades fast I’ll bet.

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    It is all about buying the best candidate for the job.

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    Latest word is that Trump PACS have raised over 100 MILLION DOLLARS towards his campaign in the first six months of this year. This happens just as the FBI starts to ask about where the 100 MILLION DOLLARS went that they raised for Trump’s pathetically small Inaugural Parade? The GOP is all about M-O-N-E-Y!!

  • Avatar
    Taxpayer #314 says:

    TN State Republican Representative David Byrd sets another example for the (R) Party. He spurned masks for a long time in his position, then he got Covid -19. He got so bad that he had to have a Liver Transplant in June. Now he believes in vaccinations and is urging his constituents to get vaccinated. Covid will get your attention finally when you can’t breath.