NASHVILLE — Republican members of the Tennessee Senate on Monday released a letter touting the importance of the Covid-19 vaccines and urging all Tennesseans to get the vaccine.
Molly Gormley, the deputy press secretary for the Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus, accused recent national news coverage of painting an “inaccurate picture” of the approach Tennessee’s government has taken towards the vaccine. She said the Senators are signing the letter in hopes of correcting the record and leaving no doubt about where they stand.
“Although we have made progress, Covid-19 is not over,” the letter states. “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 was signed by every member of the Republican Caucus leadership team, including its chairman, Sen. Ken Yager, who represents Scott County. It pointed 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 continued. “Nearly 338 million doses of the vaccines have been administered in the U.S. with few adverse side 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 emphasized that state law will not require vaccine mandates for Tennesseans. Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed legislation prohibiting state and local governments from requiring “vaccine passports.”
“Every life lost to this virus is tragic,” the letter stated. “The Covid-19 vaccine saves lives. Again, we strongly urge all Tennesseans to study the facts, talk to your doctor and get vaccinated.”
To date, fewer than 4 in 10 Tennesseans have been fully vaccinated.