Many Americans are in shock as news spreads that the Commissioner of the Tennessee Dept. of Health, a politically-ambitious pediatrician, bowed this week to state Republican lawmakers furious that juveniles were being told they have a legal right to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
In response to GOP outrage, Commissioner Lisa Piercey, fired the Department’s vaccination chief and then banned all outreach on vaccines – all vaccines, not just COVID-19, to juveniles.
The Health Dept. will also ignore and not participate in any way in educating on vaccines for August’s annual National Immunization Awareness Month, Nashville’s NewsChannel 5 reports.
Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Lee (photo), who has one of the worst records in the country for handling the coronavirus pandemic, refuses to comment on the firing but last week said the state will only perform outreach to parents, not juveniles.
The CDC says doctors suggest school-aged children be vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, HPV, meningococcal, polio, pneumococcal meningitis, pneumococcal pneumonia, rotavirus, tetanus, whooping cough, and COVID-19, as age-appropriate.
But it is now official policy of the State of Tennessee to not take any action to promote or communicate the need for any vaccines for children.
Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson blasted the Tennessee GOP’s “utterly unforgivable, amoral, murderous intent of not getting kids vaccinated,” and encouraged tech giant Oracle to put its relocation to the state on hold.
I keep coming back to this story and the utterly unforgivable, amoral, murderous intent of not getting kids vaccinated.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) July 14, 2021
Former Vermont governor, Dr. Howard Dean offered a similar “hope.”
I suspect that FedEx, General Motors, Nissan, Taylor Swift and Dolly Parton, some of Tennessee’s largest businesses, will put a stop to this nonsense. https://t.co/YH4h7Nt8JB
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) July 13, 2021
A columnist for The Guardian blasted the decision by Dr. Piercey, which is totally supported by the leader of the Tennessee House Republican caucus, calling it “insanity.”
I was not vaccinated for measles as a child.
I caught measles at 17 and was brought to the brink of death by the disease.
Catching measles wiped out my immunisations for rubella, whooping cough and mumps and for chicken pox and I caught them all within three years.
— Van Badham (@vanbadham) July 14, 2021
MSNBC host Joy Reid:
When measles and whooping cough and rubella and worse overtake Tennessee, will they finally be satisfied?? This is pure Jim Jones idiocracy, period. https://t.co/sQPJHj2K4P
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) July 14, 2021
CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta:
Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the news that Tennessee is halting outreach on ALL vaccines for kids – including shots not related to Covid-19.
— Brianna Keilar (@brikeilarcnn) July 14, 2021
What happened in Tennessee today confirms that if Republicans control the presidency or Congress the next time there is a global health crisis, we’ll all be dead.
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) July 14, 2021
Dear Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee…
You can’t be:
PRO- and ANTI-
— Jake Lobin (@JakeLobin) July 14, 2021
Tennessee is changing its state motto from “Agriculture and Commerce” to “Polio and Measles.”
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) July 14, 2021
Seems like Tennessee will be the new third world country where diseases like polio re-emerge because the GOP is just that horrendous there. Parents there beware.
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) July 13, 2021
The Tennessee GOP doesn’t care if kids die. They aren’t just blocking the #COVID19 vaccine–the Tennessee Dept. of Health was pressured into blocking ALL vaccines. This is dangerous ideological lunacy. https://t.co/sTCRPBaQDs
— Victoria Brownworth #GetVaccinatedNOW (@VABVOX) July 14, 2021
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