Tennessee leaders address Biden’s vaccine mandate

Knox County Mayor and Tennessee United States Senator bash vaccine mandate, health and business experts offer praise
Published: Oct. 30, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Several Tennessee leaders, including Senator Marsha Blackburn and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, have released public statements bashing President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.

Mayor Glenn Jacobs released a selfie video of himself on Twitter Saturday afternoon, commenting on President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees.

Under the mandate, any government employees are required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The same applies for executive employees and contracted employees that do business with the government. There is no opt-out option.

In the video, Jacobs said that Knox County would not comply with the mandate, calling it unconstitutional. He said the same thing in a letter to President Biden in September.

“I will not stand for it because here in Knox County, we respect the Constitution,” he said. “We will not comply, period.”

Mayor Jacobs is not the first opponent of the mandate, many republican lawmakers have come out against the decision.

Last month, Biden issued a similar order, saying all businesses with more than 100 employees must have their employees fully vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022.

Workers will be able to file for religious or health exemptions, however.

Senator Marsha Blackburn recently released a statement on the new mandate rules, saying they would hurt the economy.

“Our economy is crumbling, and President Biden is doing everything in his power to make it worse. While businesses scramble to fill the 10.4 million open jobs in our country, Biden’s vaccine mandates will push even more Americans out of the workforce. We have already seen how these mandates harm essential workers in law enforcement, at healthcare institutions, and in first responder roles across the nation,” Blackburn said in the statement.

However, many health and business organizations, like the American Medical Association, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable, have praised the move, saying it will help save lives.

White House officials have said the motivation behind the mandate is to encourage those that are vaccine-hesitant to get a shot, which has been proven to be both safe and effective at preventing serious cases of COVID-19.

COVID-19 has killed over 740,000 people in the United States since the pandemic began, according to data from the federal government.

Mayor Jacobs’ tweet follows a similar decision from Knox County’s sheriff, who wrote a letter to Biden last week.

Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.