Photo: Tennessee state capital, Medical Freedom rally, September 16th 2021 Photo Credit: Kristin Benton
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
Williamson county resident Kristin Benton is collecting the signatures of Tennesseans through her website for a petition that will be delivered to the General Assembly ahead of the special session on Wednesday.
“The Tennessee General Assembly has called for a special session on COVID related issues. We have a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to have our grievances read into the record at the beginning of the session. We need YOU to sign onto the REMONSTRANCE in order to show the will of the people,” the petition reads.
On page 4 of the Tennessee Constitution, Art. I, § 23 reads:
“That the citizens have a right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by address of remonstrance.”
The remonstrance is addressed to members of the General Assembly, the Tennessee Department of Health, Governor Bill Lee, Lt. Governor Randy McNally and Attorney General Slatery.
We are submitting this petition on behalf of numerous Tennesseans. As Tennesseans, we have many concerns about how COVID-19 policies have chipped away our Constitutional and God- given rights. We are now asserting our right to redress our grievances by address of remonstrance according to the Tennessee Constitution, Article 1 Section 23.
Governor Lee has advised Tennesseans he will continue to fight for our rights in the courts, but he has taken various rights away through Executive Orders. We are asking you to protect the people that voted you into the General Assembly.
We ask that you consider the following issues that are critical to preserving the rights of Tennesseans regarding the COVID-19 policies:
• REMOVE FEDERAL FUNDING – Tennesseans are better qualified to take care of our own and make decisions based on the best interests of the people. Allowing federal funding to sway policy has caused division and politicized public health policy.
• SCHOOL MASK MANDATES – The Tennessee Health Freedom Act provides that no person should be compelled into medical services or treatment. Additionally, the health decisions of our children must be reserved for parents. There are numerous resources that provide for solutions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools that do not include masks. For example, Dr. Stephen Petty has well-documented scientific evidence supporting engineering solutions rather than masks to deter the spread of COVID-19.
• SCHOOL VACCINE MANDATES – The Tennessee Health Freedom Act provides that no person should be compelled into medical services or treatment. Any and all health decisions of our children must be left up to the parents as the parents are in the best
position to know what is best for their child. With a 99.96% survival rate according to the Tennessee Department of Health, children are thankfully in the lowest risk category for COVID-19. A mandate is wholly unnecessary. Any school vaccine mandate would eliminate parental choice and place the school in the position of medical decision-maker.
• SCHOOL CONTACT TRACING – Some schools have implemented plans that allow for vaccinated or masked children to have different quarantine policies than those children that do not disclose their vaccination status, have not been vaccinated or do not wear masks. There is no scientific evidence to support this practice. Additionally, it is discriminatory and wrong to segregate children in schools and as such violates these children’s rights to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. There is no need to segregate these children because we know that people who have been vaccinated can acquire and spread COVID-19. The purpose of the vaccine is only to suppress symptoms and decrease the chance of severity and hospitalization. Additionally, masks do not prevent the spread as has been shown in numerous studies. This policy is discriminatory on its face.
• VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS TO EMPLOYMENT – As there is no FDA approved vaccine currently being distributed in Tennessee, it is against Federal Law to require anyone to take the vaccine. We are asking that you put Tennessee individual rights above “business rights” and protect the livelihoods of Tennesseans by making it illegal for employers to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, we reject ANY future mandatory health procedure, device, vaccination, etc. as a condition of employment, and it should be unlawful to have to disclose any sort of health information as a condition of employment.
• VACCINATION AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS – Tennesseans are aware of the risks of COVID-19. Over a year into this “stop the spread,” we must be allowed to make the decisions for ourselves whether we want to gather, attend an event or engage in commerce. We must not be subjected to any sort of requirement to attend a public gathering, to be lawfully employed, or buy and sell goods.
• STRICTER PRIVACY PROTECTIONS- We are demanding you stop sharing Tennessean’s health information between governmental entities including the Tennessee Department of Health and school districts. This practice is opening up privacy concerns and providing third parties with health information for which they should not be privy. Additionally, we ask that the Tennessee Department of Health be restricted from providing vaccination status of residents through the government website. There are not enough safeguards or security measures in place to ensure the person or entity requesting should have access to that information.
• RIGHT TO TRY – We are asking you to demand hospitals provide access to treatments and give patients the right to try. We demand doctors not be threatened with license revocation for allowing patients the right to try alternative treatments. For many months the treatment that has been provided for patients with COVID-19 includes Remdesivir which failed drug trials for its propensity for causing organ failure and ventilators which have less than 20% success rate. With such poor success, why aren’t we allowing patient choice?
• LIMITING GOVERNMENTAL POWERS – We are asking the Governor’s and various mayors’ emergency powers be clearly defined and restricted. No elected official should have the power to take away Constitutional rights that include, but are not limited to: the right to gather, the right to worship, the right to open and operate a lawful business, the right to breathe unobstructed and the right to be free from any medical device or treatment. We reject ANY future mandatory health procedure, device, vaccination, etc. under the guise of a health emergency.
• THE RIGHTS OF TENNESSEANS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WAIT TO BE LITIGATED AND DECIDED BY THE COURTS – The idea that the courts will fix everything is a faulty assumption. It relies on the people having the money and time to fight it in courts, finding the right attorney to take up the battle and being able to endure the time it takes litigation to be resolved. Tennesseans should not have to wait and hope that a court case will protect their rights. We respectfully request you address each of these concerns in the Special Session called for COVID-19.
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The Tennessee Conservative asked Benton what she thinks is the single most important thing that the legislature needs to do on Wednesday. She said, “Most importantly, the legislature needs to make it illegal to mandate vaccines in the school and workplace.”
Tennessee House Representatives are also seeking feedback from Tennesseans before the special session convenes. Rep. Bruce Griffey is asking for feedback via a survey that he shared on his Facebook page. While Rep. Jason Zachary has asked for anyone in danger of losing their employment if not vaccinated to send details to his email.
The Tennessee Conservative is also conducting its own “1-minute Survey on Medical Freedom.” The results will be sent to the Tennessee Legislature to apprise them of the will of the people.
Brandon Lewis, founder of The Tennessee Conservative writes, “The ONLY reason this Special Session is taking place on issues of medical freedom is because YOU made NOISE! Don’t let up now! We have to keep Tennessee FREE and follow the examples set in Florida and Texas.”
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and contributor to The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at email@example.com.