Republican leadership and lawmakers sign letter urging Tennesseans to get vaccinated

(NASHVILLE) – On Monday, Republican members of the Tennessee Senate released a letter touting the importance of COVID-19 vaccines and urging all Tennesseans to get the vaccine. Recent national news coverage has painted an inaccurate picture of the approach Tennessee state government is taking towards the vaccine. The Senators signing the letter hope to correct the record and leave no doubt about where they stand.

“Although we have made progress, COVID-19 is not over,” the letter reads. “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.”

The letter, signed by every member of the Republican Caucus leadership team, points out that if the vaccines had been available from the start and widely used, the loss of over 600,000 American lives could have been avoided.

“We are well beyond the COVID-19 vaccine trial stage.,” the letter continues. “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.”

The letter emphasizes that state law will not require vaccine mandates for Tennesseans. This commitment follows legislation passed by the General Assembly this year to ensure state or local governments are prohibited from requiring “vaccine passports”.

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

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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