Dems’ effort to require face coverings punted in House

House members attend a floor session in Nashville on Jan. 12, 2021. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Democrats’ efforts to amend House rules to require masks be worn in committees and on the floor have been put off by the chamber’s Republican supermajority.

Rep. G.A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) made the motion on Friday, a day after House members had approved their rules for the 112th General Assembly. Speaker Pro Tem Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville), who chairs the Rules Committee, said every member had been given the opportunity to suggest amendments when the panel met earlier in the week. No mask rule was introduced at that time, so Marsh made the motion to send Hardaway’s proposal back to the committee. It’s unclear when the panel will meet again.

At least 10 House members have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. They are:

  • Bill Beck (D-Nashville)
  • David Byrd (R-Waynesboro)
  • Karen Camper (D-Memphis)
  • Kent Calfee (R-Kingston)
  • Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka)
  • Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah)
  • Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby)
  • Torrey Harris (D-Memphis)
  • Gary Hicks (R-Rogersville)
  • Kevin Vaughan (R-Collierville)

In the Senate, Mike Bell (R-Riceville), Ed Jackson (R-Jackson), and Page Walley (R-Bolivar) have had COVID-19.

All have recovered except Byrd, who at last report remained on a ventilator at a Nashville hospital.

43 Responses to Dems’ effort to require face coverings punted in House

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Exactly right! The Democratic mask fetishists have succeeded in making the Congressmen in the U.S. House go around like buffoons forced to wear masks like some sort of holy cloth when no one is within a number of yards but there is no reason for rational Republicans to follow their lead. Let the liberal control freaks impose their stupid rules let the Republicans miss no opportunity to show we have a better way.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      Those who don’t want to wear masks don’t want want to wear them Regardless of the situation. Number of feet or yards has nothing to do with their decision. And aerosol lingers in the air like smoke. Can you smell smoke in an area vacated by the smoker himself? Does it waft into areas greater than 6 ft?

      What we should have done, way back in April is pay each American willing to be “contaminated” with the virus to do so . If the virus is as contagious as they claim we could have had Herd Immunity within a matter of a month or so. The vulnerable would have had to isolate for that short time
      but we would have contained the virus in short order. We could have put the vulnerable up in 4 star hotels if multi-generation households was an issue and cost of much less money than we have currently spent.

      Mothers who wanted their kids to just go ahead and get Chicken Pox and be done with in exposed all their children to the virus. On purpose. Better to have each of your 4 children get it all at once then to drag this out over months.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        But do the masks worn by a vast majority of people protect against the virus transmitted by aerosol? I thought not so masks under these circumstances are useless. They are only useful for 6 feet or less situations.

        • Avatar
          Jonathan Swift says:

          Stuart, you are no expert on the efficacy of masks, either.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            You seem confused by the English language Jonathan, as well as politics. It’s OK, both are full of rules and thus are complicated. When the writer places a question mark after a sentence that indicates uncertainty not expertise.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            If you have covid and breathe you are breathing out a combination of droplets and aerosol.

            Smoke is an aerosol. What do they tell you to do in evacuating your home in a fire. Place something heavy and secure over your nose and mouth . It is impossible to image that “experts”, ( Think Fauci….brilliant ones at that, as Trump heralded him) do NOT know the degree of transmission of A respiratory virus, Any respiratory virus after studying them for 40 years as a government-paid professional.

            This should have been knowable on week 2 of this virus and masks either work or they don’t. They now say a 4-layers tightly woven Cloth masks work as well as an N-95. But this should have been conveyed about 9 months ago. Most of the masks sold and worn are not as effective as they could be had the proper information been shared by those decades-old professionals paid by us, the taxpayers.

      • Avatar
        Jonathan Swift says:

        Marle, you were making sense for a while, but now you have relapsed. Your theory on how herd immmunity could have been achieved is as factually challenged and debunked as Stuart’s belief that wearing masks is some sort of liberal control mechanism. Both of you guys are willfully ignoring medical research and knowledge in favor of political dogma.

        Regarding the chicken pox analogy, it is poor. Sure you can expose all the kids at once, but they can’t infect the adults who are already immune. Nobody is immune to COVID without being vaccinated or recovered, and the duration of that immunity is questionable.

        Our Republican legislators who resist wearing masks are just as ignorantly arrogant as you and Stuart on this point.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          OK Jonathan, I just looked at that picture of the General Assembly’s House Chamber again and it sure looks crowded and the members appear to be sitting awfully close together. It’s hard to tell from the picture to be sure but I probably would wear a mask if I were on the floor under those circumstances and might very well be a “Yes” re: a mask mandate ON THE FLOOR if a certain percent of members were in attendance.

          • Avatar
            LeeAnn C says:

            They’ve played plexiglass between the desks.

          • Avatar
            Jonathan Swift says:

            Yes, LeeAnn, I see no way that aerosolized viruses could possibly get over those extremely tall plexiglass shields when spewed forth by our esteemed maskless legislators.

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          If the duration of immunity from the disease is questionable then the antibodies created from the vaccine are questionable as well.

          I think EVERYONE should wear a MASK. What did I say that conveyed otherwise. I told Stuart that you cover your mouth and nose against the aerosol that is smoke and the same logic applies to the aerosol of the virus.

          I am NOT an anti-masker. I have never gone out without one. A 6-layer construction that they now say is more effective than an n-95. So direct your venom against anti-maskers elsewhere.

          • Avatar
            Jonathan Swift says:

            Marle, I never said you are anti-mask. It’s your theories of immunity I have a problem with. Apparently you misunderstood my post.

  • Avatar
    Martin D Kennedy says:

    Yet, they’ve installed plexiglass all over, no? Why?
    I mean, if no mitigation effort was executed it would at least be consistent, even if dangerous… if they’re wrong. But to have one, somewhat costly, and not the other, very cheap, seems incoherent.

    Change my mind.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      But they didn’t say no mitigation effort was needed, they only said by their silence that we are dealing with educated knowledgeable people who should not have to be humiliated by being forced to behave via inflexible rules. It’s the difference between altering some inanimate objects vs. forcing free people in an allegedly free society to obey rules rather than relying on them to simply use common sense. Republicans instinctively follow the latter course.

      • Avatar
        Cryan says:

        Forcing people to obey rules like not assassinating the Vice President and Speaker of the House and killing cops.

        Freaks

      • Avatar
        Not that Stuart guy says:

        I see little evidence of common sense in the behavior of Republicans when it comes to the subject of mask use. If you are a patriot, you wear a mask. If you are for personal responsibility, you wear a mask. If you simply care about your health and of those you love, you wear a mask.
        Are there some cases where not wearing a mask is not dangerous to you or others? Sure. Is the floor of the House when in session one of those cases? Probably not.
        Societies have rules because not everyone automatically acts in the best interests of themselves or the society as a whole. When you boil it down, pretty much every law on the books exists for that basic reason. Do Republicans now want to do away with all laws because they violate freedom or are covered by “common sense?” I doubt it. So wear the dang mask. It’s a tiny inconvenience that could save lives.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          And I do NtSg whenever I am inside with another person but I wouldn’t if I was on the floor of the House many yards away from the nearest person or virtually alone at the end of a long table in a Congressional committee meeting room. I am against laws designed to “protect” the individual only (e.g. seat belt laws). I am against laws whose beneficial effect is problematic e.g. laws mandate wearing a facemask in most places in the halls of Congress. Nothing extreme, simply making freedom the default position.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Freedom is not the default situation, Stuart.

            I am Not free when I have to pay, through taxpayer funded Medicare, or even worse, Medicaid for your Entire 500K hospital bill b/c you put yourself at high risk.

            I am NOT free when our case load is the highest in the Known world and I have to be part of a 7T debt to bail out the economy. (I get how The Donald and Ivanka don’t care about that since they have neither paid more than a pittance in Income Tax over the past decade and longer).

            I am Not free when the virus continues to spread more than in our closest neighbors Canada and Mexico and I have to still restrict my every move.

            Freedom not to use a Proper Mask worn Properly is costing me a lot of lost freedom

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            So what you’re saying is that the more all-encompassing the welfare state the fewer individual freedoms we can have. I believe that is a point libertarians have been making for a long, long time. I guess that’s one of the reasons I am “unenthusiastic” about the welfare state.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            Are you insane? All cost borne, unwillingly, by one person for another person is a form of slavery. I thought we established about 175 years ago that the forced, uncompensated work of one person for the benefit of another is theft at best and enslavement at worst.

          • Avatar
            Cryan says:

            Narrator: He is insane.

          • Avatar
            Cannoneer2 says:

            The Republicans don’t make freedom their default position. They pick and choose. My father passed away under a Republican administration, and I had to send a form to the state, along with a $15 check to let them know I didn’t owe them anything. If I want to burn a brush pile in the middle of the 400 acres I own, I have to seek Tennessee’s permission to do that for six months out of the year. If I buy a tool from someone in Vermont, Tennessee pokes its nose in and demands taxes, even though they had no part in the transaction AT ALL! If I buy a two cases of wine over at Biltmore in North Carolina and bring it home in my car, well, that’s a felony. The Republicans have sat on their backsides and done nothing about any of these examples of bureaucratic overreach

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Cannoneer, by “. . .simply making freedom the default position” I was talking about my own approach to problems as a libertarian conservative. No one is more aware of the shortcomings of the Republican Party as the alleged opponent to the nanny state hectoring of the liberals in the Democratic Party. Making the Republican Party more conservative and hence a more effective advocate for freedom is my primary goal in politics. Hopefully when it’s time for the Republican primary in August 2022 you will join me Cannoneer in pursuing that vital goal.

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            If you have been spending money to make the Republican party more conservative you have failed.

          • Avatar
            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Not at all. The Tennessee Republican Party has obviously become decidedly more conservative as the old Baker Republicans are replaced by far more conservative replacements. Most of my money has gone to make that transformation take place. Its been a most pleasurable experience.

        • Avatar
          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          The vast majority of citizens have since 1932 voted for candidates who have advocated an ethos that teaches that as an obligation of citizenship those of us above a certain income level have an obligation to support to a certain extent those below a certain income level. I’m unenthusiastic about much of this ethos but I don’t know that those of us providing this support are “slaves.”

          • Avatar
            MARLE says:

            If, when I work in order to earn money for my own family, I must give up a portion of that for the benefit of another individual (not the general welfare), and I must do it under penalty of law, then I am enslaved. Being forced to give up what I earn, by a street thug, in a random act is theft. Being forced to do so by the Federal government, codified into law, is enslavement.

      • Avatar
        Jonathan Swift says:

        Wearing a mask is humiliation? Stuart, next time you have surgery, please insist that your attending medical team not wear masks, just for the sake of their self-respect.

  • Avatar
    Beatrice Shaw says:

    Your mind doesn’t need changing because you are absolutely correct. These Republican riot enablers really need to quit being selfish and start protecting us all. Now, Change MY mind!!

  • Avatar
    Keith Richardson says:

    This explains why the United States (and Tennessee) have such high COVID-19 fatality rates compared to nations that actually listened to the medical experts and acted according to their recommendations as they evolved.

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      Stuart applauded the TN Republican government with All Caps as he announced that they were among the top 11 states in vaccine distribution. He however ignored that TN is ranked #4 in Deaths from covid per 100K population.

      I guess someone from the Rep establishment sent a self-congratulatory email touting the great job they were doing. Undoubtedly they didn’t send one that included our abysmal Ranking on the job of containing Deaths.

      OF course Stuart will identify getting All of the relevant facts in determining if there has been a “job well done” as Micro-analyzing.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Your guess is incorrect regarding the source of my congratulatory statement as to the vaccine distribution, it was in fact an article listing the states’ standing re: the distribution. There is nothing wrong with congratulating the Republican government for a job well done and there is no reason for the one doing the congratulating to thereupon start doing research in order to dredge up something negative to offset the congratulations. Even more so on this forum knowing that on hand we have a reflexively negative micro-analyst who will gleefully do the dredging especially it seems when we are dealing with Republicans and especially Republican officeholders in the discharge of their duties.

      • Avatar
        MARLE says:

        When a child tells you he got an A in spelling you usually find out IF he got D’s in Math, Eng etc before you go on a public Bragging Tour about his great academic accomplishments.

        And that extra effort to “dredge up” the other negative grades = is to keep you from looking like a fool. There is usually benefit in telling the whole story…something Republicans in the era of Trump have lost touch with.

  • Avatar
    Mel Russell says:

    Why we are inundated with covid started when demoncrats told people to come to Tennessee and give people covid because President Trump was going to be at Belmont. Also, to cause Tennessee to close down and have mail in ballots instead of conservatives/Republicans going in person to vote so they then could manipulate the votes for jackass joe. Don’t bother responding with your fake outrage. Our rights are already being removed, we are silenced, even now. These House Bills all ready to be submitted will prove out my words of discrimination, harassment, racism, and more.

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Where is the bill to stop the Unconstitutional violations of the Governor, Mayors and Health Departments?

  • Avatar
    Cryan says:

    What about Trump’s executive order to control drug pricing in the “most favored nation” by limiting it to no more than the average global pricing?

    Conservatives embrace globalist price ceiling regulations through executive order now? Hypocrites.

    • Avatar
      Phillip Lassiter says:

      Great plan by a great President. Done more than any other. Repaired 8 years of extensive damage by Obama. Just a fact. Choke on it Cryan.

      • Avatar
        Cryan says:

        Phil Lassiter doesn’t have all those pictures of AOC just because he’s a pervert; Perv Lassiter actually agrees with her “great plans.”

        These are your Republicans, Stuart. Price controls, globalist regulations, universal basic income, debt relief, moratorium on rent and evictions… Trump did more than Bernie Sanders, “more than any other.”

    • Avatar
      MARLE says:

      Please do not try to list every incidence of hypocrisy during the Trump administration. I am a conservative who is well aware of all of it. You can add to the fact that Trump called for Fed Fud interest rates (unheard of for fiscal conservatives) to fall to Zero (jacking up the stock market b/c investors would have no alternative for invested money) because Europe was allowing for Zero rates.

      Not one politician on the right uttered a peep. All those high-score heritage folks pushed back not one inch.

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