This cannot end well, Tennessee

The insanity is going too far. Tennessee (or rather, Republicans in Tennessee) want to shut down access to vaccines. All vaccines.

The Tennessee Department of Health will halt all adolescent vaccine outreach – not just for coronavirus, but all diseases – amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers, according to an internal report and agency emails obtained by the Tennessean. If the health department must issue any information about vaccines, staff are instructed to strip the agency logo off the documents.

The health department will also stop all COVID-19 vaccine events on school property, despite holding at least one such event this month. The decisions to end vaccine outreach and school events come directly from Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, the internal report states.

Additionally, the health department will take steps to ensure it no longer sends postcards or other notices reminding teenagers to get their second dose of the coronavirus vaccines. Postcards will still be sent to adults, but teens will be excluded from the mailing list so the postcards are not “potentially interpreted as solicitation to minors,” the report states.

That’s amazing. I’m used to Republicans opposing fundamental ideas in science, but now the prion disease that rots their brains has progressed so far that they want to silence information about basic health care. There will be dead teenagers as a result of this policy, and this will lead to another spike in coronavirus infections.

And these changes will take effect just as the coronavirus pandemic shows new signs of spread in Tennessee. After months of declining infections, the average number of new cases per day has more than doubled in the past two weeks – from 177 to 418. The average test positivity rate has jumped from 2.2% to 5.4% in the same time period.

Oh, it already has.

Republicans are a menace to society.


  1. Rich Woods says

    Forgive me, but my geography of the USA is a little rusty. Is Tennessee one of those states which are generally hot enough and wet enough that tetanus is rife?

  2. HappyHead says

    This is all part of their plan – more uninformed, sick and dying people makes for more angry people, and the Republicans will then loudly insist that it’s them demoncrats wut bin castin’ curses on the good folk. Then they get to have a good ole’ lynching, and possibly some burnings at the stake. Which they will also claim were all done by the democrats. And the republican voters of the state, even the ones who took part in said lynchings and burnings will swallow the line up and believe it, just like they’re doing with all of the other BS they get fed.

  3. fishy says

    I don.t know if you visit the blog Lawyers, Guns, and Money, but they have adopted the term, “death cult,” when referring to Republicans.
    It seems accurate.

  4. says

    Me and all my friends, family, co-workers, everyone I know is vaccinated. I’m finding it harder and harder to care about the suicidal lemmings who would just vote for Trump anyway. They are killing their own people and I’m too emotionally drained to give a shit. I’m sorry if that sounds jaded, but that’s where I’m at. The last five years have left me an angry shell of the human I once was and I no longer have any compassion left for those people.

  5. ftltachyon says

    Unfortunately, the victims of this policy will, again, not be the ones implementing it.

    The specific policy is that they have STOPPED VACCINE OUTREACH TO TEENAGERS. The ones who are going to die from this are people who, as children, will simply never learn about these other vaccines. The vaccinated lawmakers that are going to be fine, they’ll just kill a bunch of the next generation of kids.

  6. says

    I disagree with the comment that Rs are a menace to society. Because they are a godsend to profit margins for big business, they are a godsend for the rich though even more for the super rich, and they are a godsend for those who want to exploit workers and the environment.
    So they are not a menace to everyone. Though the ultimate affect of their priorities will admittedly badly damage civilization.

  7. raven says

    This will cause some deaths, no doubt about it.
    In May, 18,000 people died of the Covid-19 virus in the USA.
    99% of them were unvaccinated, mostly antivaxxers.
    None of those people had to die.

    I’m wondering if what the state of Tennessee did is even legal.
    This is pretty close to deliberate homicide here.
    Then again, I can’t think of any laws that they are actually breaking besides some sort of homicide.

  8. raven says

    Most of those GOP officials in Tennessee are vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus.
    The rich, well educated ones are bright enough to do the calculation and decide a safe and effective vaccine is far preferable to struggling on a ventilator and being permanently disabled or dead.
    I’m not just guessing here either, where there is data and people have looked, that is what they find.

    The hypocrisy here is immense.

    It doesn’t matter how many people they kill with their antivaxxer pandering.
    The voters who elected them will just keep on electing them.

  9. vucodlak says

    @ WMDKitty – Survivor, #6

    Do they just not care that people will die? Or, worse, do they want people to die?

    It’s the second one. Young people are less likely to vote Republican.

  10. raven says

    It gets worse.

    They fired their head vaccine official for doing her job. The GOP is a death cult. They are also a bunch of Plague Rats.

    The reporting comes a day after Tennessee’s top vaccine official claimed she was fired to appease conservative lawmakers pushing back against efforts to vaccinate teenagers.

    Dr Michelle Fiscus, medical director for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunisation programs at the state health department, issued a scathing statement to local news, alleging she was fired because “some of our politicians have bought into the anti-vaccine misinformation” and stating she was “afraid for my state”.

    “It was MY job to provide evidence-based education and vaccine access so that Tennesseans could protect themselves against Covid-19,” Fiscus told the Tennessean. “I have now been terminated for doing exactly that.”

  11. raven says


    Fiscus said she believed she was fired after Republicans took offense to a procedural memo she sent to medical providers explaining the state’s “Mature Minor Doctrine”, a legal mechanism allowing inoculation of minors over 14 without parental consent. The memo, based on a rule in place since a state supreme court decision in 1987, was published on social media.

    In many states, minors are able to make certain medical decisions on their own after a certain age, 14 or commonly 16.

    Apparently some of the oogedy boogedy xian GOP officials were afraid their teenagers might sneak out, and …get vacccinated without telling their parents.

    I can see how that could be shocking. When I was a teenager all we did was sneak out and drink beer and smoke marijuana. (And no, we aren’t going to talk about the LSD or magic mushrooms.) It never occurred to us to get medical care in secret.

  12. raven says

    Well, this is disturbing.
    This pandemic should be over in the USA thanks to the vaccines.
    Instead it is ramping up.
    From the article, He (Lawler) added: “I think people have no clue what’s about to hit us.”
    Thanks Tennessee, enjoy all your funerals for the next year.

    Associated Press
    U.S. COVID-19 cases have doubled in the past 3 weeks
    Published: July 13, 2021 at 8:29 p.m. ET

    Infections at about 23,600 a day as delta variant spreads

    Lawler warned that what is happening in Britain is a preview of what’s to come in the U.S.
    “The descriptions from regions of the world where the delta variant has taken hold and become the predominant virus are pictures of ICUs full of 30-year-olds. That’s what the critical care doctors describe and that’s what’s coming to the U.S.,” he said.

  13. says

    It’s even worse. Apparently, they have proposed dissolving the Department of Health altogether:

    These instructions came two weeks after a heated legislative hearing where Republican lawmakers harangued the health department for gently recommending vaccines to minors and discussed dissolving the agency altogether. Department officials are set to appear before the same lawmakers for more questions – and more discussion about the potential dissolution of the agency – during a follow-up hearing on July 21.

  14. drivinganalytical says

    … and it’s a perfect opportunity to put a stop to that Satanic vaccine that encourages sexual activity outside the sacrosanct boundaries of the marital bedroom: “Jones told staff they should conduct “no proactive outreach regarding routine vaccines” and “no outreach whatsoever regarding the HPV vaccine.” <==
    Dog will be pleased!

  15. leerudolph says

    raven@15: “It never occurred to us [teenagers] to get medical care in secret.”

    Well, except for some of “us” who may have needed medical care (of any of several sorts) from, say, Planned Parenthood, over the objections of their parents.

  16. DataWrangler says

    Just waiting for people to start shooting Republicans on sight under the right to self-defense.

  17. brightmoon says

    Ray Ceeya I’m about That far away from the point of not caring about the idiot science deniers too ! The only reason I keep trying is because seeing those bodies stacked in tractor trailers close to my home, just won’t leave my mind

  18. says

    @DataWrangler 23
    A friend on facebook was worried about people who are politically defiant reguarding virus precaution behavior because of many factors that would make an infection worse for them. I suggested a taser in a cane. Distance and discouragement. I’m completely serious because the casual behavior of someone politically defiant about basic community health is a point of concern.

    A very loud horn in the cane too for employment settings. I would be upfront about it given what I see here in AZ. One is likely to get counter defiance since this is political, but in the end connecting death to that “freedom” isn’t going to be hard because of all of the examples.

  19. unclefrogy says

    It doesn’t matter how many people they kill with their antivaxxer pandering.
    The voters who elected them will just keep on electing them.

    not if they are dead

  20. says

    Relatedly the talk about vaccines being “unnatural” and letting disease “do what it was meant to do” is virtue signalling death. They have to make it a good thing. I want to chain them in their reputations while conveying their behavior as a social vulnerability.

  21. blf says

    @26, “not if they [voters] are dead”… But but but that’s assertedly part of what the dummies did to steal the election from Putin’s friend.

  22. blf says

    @23 / @28, The mildly deranged penguin points out it’s the virus you to kill, not necessarily the plague rat. She suggests using a flamethrower, to incinerate the contamination. Also works against the evil equine empire and some peas. Please take care in dry areas, the wildfire crews already have far too much work to do !

  23. lakitha tolbert says

    #7 Ray Ceeya
    I no longer possess the emotional capacity, or energy to care about their lives. I have far more pressing concerns.

  24. wzrd1 says

    All failed entirely to grasp the libertarian hijacked GOP goal.
    Big government is beyond evil, large government is awfully evil and any competent government is just plain evil.
    So, undermine all competence in government, make emergency response ineffective or detrimental and discrediting all government is done, dismantling soon to follow.
    Can you think of worse than tens of thousands of dead children to undermine faith in one’s government? Well, other than nuking our own cities…

  25. says

    @Marcus 13
    I had to think for a bit after reading about the use of virus names. But Rs are a self-selected group, and their behavior is contributing to the pandemic.

    But is “the republication virus” precise enough? I want to say “conservative virus” is closer. “Trump virus” is missing a cultural opportunity…

  26. indianajones says

    Corruption Virus? I mean it’s hitting all over, but the more corrupt your body politic is…

  27. says

    @indianajones 35
    The conservative/R segment of concern is pretty good at deflecting about corruption. It’s easier to pin on a party/political philosophy (though I doubt most of these people have a coherent philosophy with whatever label).

    Trump is ultimately pathetic and not as important. A political party would be harder to scape goat (the anti-health conspiracy root behaviors/beliefs of concern are among the left in some form, the culture is broken).

  28. indianajones says

    @Brony 36 Yeah, the deflection thing is correct, that’s why I thought it good to name it that nakedly and brutally. But you know, it’s just a silly naming game at this point so whatever.

  29. says

    @indianajones 37
    I’m sorry if I was dismissive. I wasn’t actually joking with this one. I want a label that focuses peoples attention and we have a population annoyingly primed for making people and groups into labels. Maybe I fail at imagination here. There isn’t one label

  30. anbheal says

    Now if only they could promote the Look Into The Barrel And Fire test, to see if their guns dun be workin’.