By Meg Dickens
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a continuous fight concerning what precautions to take for safety’s sake. Some people demand enforcing a litany of rules while others think it should all be a personal choice. The Johnson County Commissioners fell on the side of personal freedom with their decision to back the Resolution Against Vaccine Mandates presented by County Mayor Mike Taylor.
This September, the Biden Administration announced the Path Out of the Pandemic Covid-19 Action Plan, which among other things, pushes for vaccination mandates for companies with more than 100 employees. According to a White House release on the subject, this has had
some success. Representatives list examples, including Tyson Foods and United Air Lines, that have raised
vaccination rates since adding these types of regulations.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III sent a letter to President Biden questioning the legality of this move. As has
been commonplace recently, 55 assorted mayors from the state of Tennessee
came together digitally to discuss this new move and their disapproval. These mayors collectively wrote a letter saying they will
not support this mandate. That is how Johnson County’s resolution, and those of many other counties, was born.
“I’m not against vaccinations,” Taylor revealed
when explaining the resolution. “I got mine, but
it should be a personal choice.”
The Johnson County Commission voted to pass
the anti-mandate resolution unanimously with little
to no discussion. According to Taylor, legislatures
are now debating if
enforcing these types of measures is the right call. The conversation has reportedly continued, but there is no news regarding a change at this time.
The COVID Situation
Several sources report that Tennessee has some of the highest cases per capita anywhere in the United States. NPR lists the situation as “unchecked community spread.” The Mayo Clinic estimates that the county averages four new cases per day and that the most significant hot spot in the state is Scott County. Johnson County’s Covid-19 numbers currently stand at 60 active cases, 48 deaths, and 118 hospitalized citizens .
The Johnson County Commissioners meet on the third Thursday of each month at 7 pm at the Johnson County Courthouse. For more information, visit johnsoncountytn.gov or call (423) 727-9696.