Host Leahy and New All-Star Panelist Gary Chapman on Governor Lee’s Letter to Remove COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate on US Armed Forces

Dec 1, 2022

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed new all-star panelist Gary Chapman in studio to discuss Governor Bill Lee’s position as lead governor on the letter to Congress requesting removal and prohibition of COVID-19 vaccine mandates for all US Armed Forces.

Leahy: In studio with us newest all-star panelist for The Tennessee Star Report, singer-songwriter Gary Chapman. Gary, as I take it, you are not a big fan of mandatory COVID-19 vaccines.

Chapman: No, I am not. I think that’s complete blatant over reach and plan by the enemy, quite frankly.

Leahy: You actually wrote a song about that. We’ll get to the song in a little bit. But Governor Bill Lee, of whom we have been critical on occasion, has done something good. He’s the lead governor in a letter that was sent to the House of Representatives, basically asking the current Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy to take immediate action to remove and prohibit the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on members of the U.S. Armed forces issued by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on August 24, 2021 either through the National Defense Authorization Act or a standalone bill. Now that’s a good thing.

Chapman: That’s a good thing. I do have one question. What took you so damn long?

Leahy: Well, you actually had something to say about this in a song.

Chapman: A year ago.

Leahy: That you wrote a year ago. We have a little clip of that song.

(Take This Jab and Shove It plays)

Leahy: So obviously, Governor Lee heard that song.

Chapman: He did. He did. He was moved by my music.

Leahy: Moved by your music.

Chapman: That’s what a songwriter dreams about, is someone actually being inspired by their inspiration. (Chuckles)

Leahy: But of course, it took them about a year. And meanwhile, the National Guard members that are out.

Chapman: What about the people that were already affected?

Leahy: And didn’t do anything until now. I think here’s the argument.

Chapman: Are there reparations for them? I’m just asking.

Leahy: You’re just asking, Gary. I think what his thought was, well, let’s wait until the Republicans control the House of Representatives, and then we’ll send them a letter.

Chapman: Right.

Leahy: Okay, I get that. Asterisk. A letter to the House of Representatives just means that the House of Representatives can pass a bill doesn’t mean it’s going to become law.

Chapman: Probably not.

Leahy: Probably not, because…

Chapman: Joe ain’t going to sign it if it gets there.

Leahy: That’s A and then B, it’s not going to get there.

Chapman: No.

Leahy: The reason it’s not going to get there is that the current Senate is 50/50 and may end up being 51 Democrat, 49 GOP, or 50/50, depending on what happens with Hershel Walker down in Georgia. So this is a good statement by the governor and 20 other governors, and he is the lead governor.

Chapman: How do you get to be the lead governor. How do you do that? Do they have an election?

Leahy: What they do is they have this thing called the Republican Governors Association.

Chapman: I’ve always wanted to be a fly on the wall at that thing.

Leahy: Well, we can arrange that.

Chapman: I’d love to know what they’re up to.

Leahy: Well, they have big meetings and they pat themselves on the back. But they will have a plan. And the plan will be, okay, we’re going to go after this issue, and governor of this state, you will be the lead person on this letter and somebody else will be a lead person on another. I think Governor Lee said, hey, I need a little help in Tennessee.

Chapman: Please, I’m begging you.

Leahy: Please let me be the lead guy. I think that’s what happened if you were a fly on the wall. That’s probably what happened in this letter. And so I think it’s good. It’s about a year late and it’s not going to have any impact other than people will say, well, good, I agree with Governor Lee on that.   The problem is there are other mechanisms to address that.

Chapman: That we’re not employed.

Leahy: And of course, I do think that our new attorney general actually has already taken the lead, because in this arena, attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, a conservative superstar.

And it’s really interesting because he’s a conservative superstar who’s been in office since September 1st and was selected by our state Supreme Court. Which is a weird element of how we do things in Tennessee.

Chapman: It is interesting.

Leahy: In this case, they picked the best guy. He led a group of states in filing this is, this would have action, a petition to the Department of Health and Human Services requesting that the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers be withdrawn.

I think ultimately we’ll probably see the AG and other AG’s do a similar thing towards the Department of Defense. But again, it’s a little bit too late, if you will, for those members of the Tennessee National Guard who are on the way out because they didn’t get the vaccine right now. And the other part about it is, it’s sort of beating a dead horse, I suppose you could say.

Chapman: Interesting analogy.

Leahy: Remember on the vaccine when it first came out and it’s not really a vaccine.

Chapman: No.

Leahy: But it’s called a vaccine. But the whole deal on this as well, the first thing they said, if you take this, you won’t get the COVID.

Chapman: No. You’re golden.

Leahy: Except, (Buzzer noise)

Chapman: Except you do.

Leahy: Yes. I got the vaccine the first two shots, and then I got a booster and then I got COVID.

Chapman: Yep. Congratulations. What do we have for him? (Chuckles) Blood clots. Yay!

Leahy: What’s the term for problems with the heart?

Chapman: Myocarditis?

Leahy: Yes, I don’t have any of that stuff. But I will say now maybe, and I haven’t seen the reports on this maybe if you get the “vaccine and boosters,” maybe it means that your case of COVID isn’t that strong. Maybe. But I haven’t seen the evidence of that.

Chapman: My personal experience is 100 percent the opposite of that.

Leahy: Really?

Chapman: Yes.

Leahy: That’s your personal experience?

Chapman: That’s my personal experience. I did not take it. I will never take it. They can’t make me take it.

Leahy: Did you get COVID?

Chapman: I did. And I was brushing my teeth one night in between the bathroom and the bed. I got crazy chills. That kind of scared me.

Leahy: Was it bad?

Chapman: I woke up the next morning feeling a little bit off, but that was it.

Leahy: That was it.

Chapman: Everything I ate tasted like a rice cake for three days and that was it. Period.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Gary Chapman” by Gary Chapman Singer/Songwriter. Background Photo “Bill Lee” by Gov. Bill Lee.