Courthouse (copy)

The Legislative Committee has unanimously approved a resolution urging Tennessee elected officials to oppose the federally proposed COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The resolution will be considered by the full County Commission at its 7 p.m. meeting on Oct. 18 at the Annex Building.

The committee discussed the issue at its Oct. 7 meeting with all members agreeing they are opposed to the proposed federal vaccine mandate.

County Mayor David Alexander, who chairs the committee, summed up his thoughts on the matter.

“I’m a firm believer in individual liberties as I believe many, many people in this county are,” he said. “Other people feel in similar ways. … We as Americans should have the right to decide what we want to stick in our bodies without having to face the consequences of being discharged or fired.”

Alexander said later that the resolution is in no way binding but affirms where the county stands on the vaccination issue and urges other government officials to consider supporting that position.

He said he believes such movements should start at the grass-roots level and rise upward.

The resolution says that the federal government has announced a plan where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would mandate all private employers with at least 100 employees to require employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or produce weekly test results.

It says that Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III has expressed grave concerns about the legality of a nationwide vaccination and testing requirement for COVID-19, and the federal proposal is overly broad and likely violates federal law, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the U.S. Constitution.

The resolution says the proposal fails to take into account the numerous steps already taken by Tennessee employers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and the impact the additional burdens will place on the workplace and the workforce.

In addition to urging Tennessee’s elected leaders to strongly oppose the federally proposed vaccine mandate, copies of the resolution will be mailed to Gov. Bill Lee, Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, Lt. Gov. and Speaker of the Senate Randy McNally and the Tennessee General Assembly.