State Representative Scott Cepicky Weighs in on Tennessee Department of Health Commissioners Monoclonal Antibody Guidelines

State Representative Scott Cepicky Weighs in on Tennessee Department of Health Commissioners Monoclonal Antibody Guidelines

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday 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 Maury County, Tennessee State Representative Scott Cepicky to the newsmaker line to discuss the recent guidelines released by the Tennessee Department of Health’s Commissioner Lisa Piercy and urged Governor Lee to circumvent the federal government so Tennesseans could receive the treatment.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by my very good friend, State Representative Scott Cepicky from Maury County. Welcome, Scott. Thanks so much for joining us on such short notice.

Cepicky: My pleasure, Michael. Good morning, everybody.

Leahy: Can you help us unravel this statement yesterday from Lisa Piercy who is the department of health commissioner that was talking about the guidelines for monoclonal antibody treatments?

This is a very effective treatment for those who test positive for COVID-19. She said that for people who test positive, you have to test positive to get the treatment. Then she said the new thing is the National Institute of Health criteria.

Even if you test positive for COVID-19, but you’re vaccinated, you don’t get it. (i.e. the monoclonal antibiotic treatment.) Now, what on earth did she say? Does it make any sense? Can you help unravel that for us, Scott?

Cepicky: I don’t know if I can help unravel something that’s impossible to understand. I think you have to look at the beginnings of all this.

Ever since coronavirus hit the continental United States, most of our leaders, the CDC, have been wrong in their diagnosis, including our own department of health who has been very misguided in their programs to help control the spread of a virus that’s really uncontrollable.

It’s going to go where it’s going to go. But now we get this thing with the Biden administration, and this is where it all started Michael. When the Biden administration came out with an order that we’re going to start the rash in the monoclonal antibodies.

And instead of sending them to the state that we’re using them the most to treat patients to help them get over COVID, they wanted to treat all the states the same, even states that really weren’t using them that much and giving them all the same allotment of the monoclonal antibodies. So we’re now in certain states, these are sitting on the shelves, not helping anybody.

Leahy: That’s crazy.

Cepicky: To where we could be using them here in Tennessee. And like you said, I represent Maury County. Maury Regional Hospital.

Well, on average, was treating about 70 patients a day with the monoclonal antibodies, treating them, and then sending them home and they were fine and getting over COVID. That numbers down to around 19 because they just don’t have the monoclonal antibodies to give out anymore.

And so people are coming in who are sick and right now are being turned away because they don’t have the antibodies to give them.

Leahy: So here’s my question to you. Why can’t Maury County hospital go directly to Regeneron or Eli Lilly to make this stuff and buy it and just circumvent the federal government? Why can’t Governor Lee do that? What are your thoughts on that?

Cepicky: That is 100 percent accurate. That is one of the things that we’ve been talking about in the halls of Cordell Hall up in Nashville, encouraging Governor Lee to talk about that and go ahead and bypass the federal government contract directly and get these monoclonal antibodies from the manufacturer so we can make sure the people of Tennessee have the best medical care available to them.

And that’s one thing we’re going to encourage immensely with our governor and with the Department of Health. They have the money to bypass the federal government and do what’s right for Tennessee.

Leahy: Has the governor responded to that request? What do you think? What has he told you?

Cepicky: From what I understand through the back channels is that that’s being looked at right now, trying to bypass the Biden administration. And let’s make one thing clear here.

This is the Biden administration who’s targeting Tennessee. They are targeting red states right now. He made a statement the other day and a singled Tennessee out for the way our governor is responding to his executive orders.

Tennessee is being targeted by the federal government. They’re trying to make life as difficult as possible for us, and we are not going to stand for that. We are going to defend Tennessee to the best of our ability.

Leahy: Why does it take the governor more than 24 hours to make this decision? If he’s got the money, why doesn’t he place the order with Regeneron or Eli Lilly like today?

Cepicky: Unfortunately, Michael, I don’t hold the title of governor. I’m just a representative up there, but we are encouraging our governor and our leadership to reach out right now.

And, most importantly, this is something that Dr. Piercy should be taking the lead on right now. Her job is to protect Tennessee in health crisises.

One could argue we’re in a health crisis here with these monoclonal antibodies. She should be doing everything she can to secure the necessary medicine for our citizens.

Leahy: But she doesn’t seem to be doing anything except saying, “If you’re vaccinated, you don’t get the monoclonal antibodies now.” That’s what she said. Apparently, according to this Epoch Times article.

Cepicky: We call that medicine rationing, and we don’t do that in Tennessee because we have the means to not do that.

Leahy: Apparently, Lisa Piercy, the commissioner of health thinks we do.

Cepicky: Sometimes we have to disagree with the commissioner, and, you know, I’ve done that on a couple of occasions where we’ve called them out on their policies and procedures.

Maybe they need to take another look at this and before the General Assembly has to chime in and just make this right and fix it as quickly as possible.

Leahy: What are the odds of that happening?

Cepicky: (Chuckles) I wish we were in session right now because we have a little bit more authority to wield. But I know that government operations will probably be addressing this next month.

I know Chairman Reagan on Gov. Ops and Chairman Roberts are very concerned about this. And I would not be surprised if this is not rectified very quickly, that by the time we get to the government Operations Committee next month I’m sure this will be front and center.

Leahy: Crom Carmichael has a question for you, Scott.

Carmichael: A quick question on special sessions. Do special sessions have to be called for a particular reason? Or if you call a special session and then something like this comes up, can it be addressed in that special session?

Cepicky: So it depends on who calls it. If the governor calls the special session, he has the ability and the authority to limit the call to precisely what the governor wants to address.

If the General Assembly calls the special session, it is open to any bill that we want to consider. It’s basically like we’re coming back into a normal session and we’re going back to work.

Leahy: So have you asked Governor Lee to call for a special session? And what did he say to you?

Cepicky: Well, I haven’t talked to him directly on that. Speaker Sexton sent that letter with the 72 Republican representatives from the House calling for a special session by the governor.

I would much prefer to have the latitude to address the COVID issues and the liability issues with our businesses and the mask mandates.

School issues and this monoclonal antibody issue. I would much prefer that the General Assembly calls itself back into session so that we can take up a multitude of issues and address them all at one time.

Leahy: According to the Tennessee Constitution there are two ways for a special session, the governor can call it. Or if two thirds of the members of the House and two-thirds of the members of the state Senate say we want a special session, then they can call such a special session.

The lieutenant governor, the speaker, the Senate, and the speaker of the house send a letter to the governor saying, two-thirds on both houses. We’re calling a special session.

I know Speaker Cameron Sexton wants to do it, and every member of the Republican talks wants to do it. But in the Senate, it’s a different story.

Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally, who’s also the Speaker of the Senate, doesn’t want one. Any luck with the state senators calling special session now?

Cepicky: I think every day when you add this monoclonal antibody issue on top of it, of all the other issues that we’re facing in Tennessee right now, I think the pressure continues to mount on our Senate colleagues to get us back into session.

And, Michael, the thing that’s really perplexing is you saw that letter from Speaker Sexton, who represents the entire House of Representatives.

He’s the Speaker of the House. It’s very perplexing to me that not one Democrat signed on to at least coming into session and having these discussions on our schools and on mask mandates, etcetera, etcetera.

That’s the most perplexing thing is we can’t even get the other side of the aisle to step up to the plate and say, hey, let’s at least come in and have these discussions.

They don’t have to vote for the legislation I if they don’t want to, but at least come in and have the discussion that the people of Tennessee want.

And in the Senate, I hope we can continue to apply as polite of pressure as we can to begin with. But there comes a point in time when you got to do what’s right.

And I think it’s time for us to get back into session through the General Assembly so that we can talk about the issues that we need to talk about and then get legislation going to continue to move Tennessee forward.

Listen to the third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaker Cameron Sexton Weighs In on Parent Centered News Conference Monday with Lee and Schwinn

Speaker Cameron Sexton Weighs In on Parent Centered News Conference Monday with Lee and Schwinn

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday 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. –  guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton to the newsmaker line to further illustrate his position from Monday’s press conference where he, Governor Lee, and Penny Schwinn stood firm on getting children back to class with parents at the wheel.

Cunningham: My name is Ben Cunningham and I’m sitting in for Michael Patrick Leahy at the big Tennessee Star microphone this morning while Michael is away. He is expanding an ever-expanding media empire and getting more and more outlets for us conservatives.

And we have this morning we have an extraordinarily special guest on the line this morning. Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton is with us this morning. Speaker, good morning.

Sexton: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

Cunningham: Yes, thanks so much for joining us. You had a pretty amazing press conference yesterday and kind of threw down the gauntlet on behalf of students and parents in Tennessee.

And it was really an amazing assertion of let’s get back to school. Let’s get kids in school. Let’s get them in the classroom and let’s teach them in the classroom. Please tell us how that all came down yesterday.

Sexton: Yes. Yesterday the governor and Commissioner Schwinn were announcing the TCAP results which was not good. Basically, we’ve lost a lot of the ground. We’re back to around where we were in 2015 and 2016 on proficiency. It’s all across the board. All subjects. All grades.

It was not a good day on TCAP. And the interesting thing is, there were individuals in the session who is trying to tell us, oh, learning loss is not an issue.

Well, it really is. And when you don’t have kids in school and you have them doing remote work or you have them do virtual education or you just close down the schools as some did, you see what the results are.

And now they’re trying to use COVID as a reason why they maybe need to close down schools, require mask mandates, maybe segregate kids on who’s vaccinated and who’s unvaccinated. And the data doesn’t point that that needs to happen with the children and that they actually need to be in class. It needs to be in person. I think the majority of teachers agree with that as well. And so basically what I said, you know what? Schools if you want to shut down, if you want to require a mask, if you want to segregate kids based on who’s vaccinated or not, I’m going to ask the governor for a special session. And we’re going to go in and we’re going to make some changes, and that may be going in a direction called school choice. And let parents decide where they want to send their kids if the school system there is not doing what’s needed to get done to get their child educated.

Cunningham: Well, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of myself personally and all the folks that I talk with around Tennessee, this is an amazing measure and press conference. I think many people in Tennessee would like to have the option to choose their school if the school that they’re going to is not performing. Can you tell us what would be the next step? What would trigger your action at this point?

Sexton: If the school system shut down, if the school system moved all their kids to remote learning or gave them hybrid remote learning, or if they started requiring kids to wear masks, I mean, all those things or segregated kids in the classroom. Those things would get me to ask the governor for a special session. And we’ll come back in and take a look at it. There are schools right now debating whether or not our kids will wear masks and the data doesn’t point to that direction where that should happen. All data says is that children are less likely than anybody else to have severe COVID or to be hospitalized. And the survival rate for anyone below the age of 20 who gets COVID even with the new Delta variant is 99.99 percent. And so let’s just talk about the facts. Let’s talk about the data, and then let’s have that conversation. But kids need to be in class, and we can’t accept the second year of TCAP numbers to go down.

Cunningham: And that’s got to be music to the years of parents across Tennessee. And you were at the press conference. The governor was there. Senator Johnson, our education secretary. All those folks were there. And you guys are showing a very unified front.

Sexton: Yeah. I mean, I think we’re all on the same page. We want what’s best for the children. And the data doesn’t lie. I know there’s a lot of people out there who think that kids need to wear masks eight hours a day, every single day down to the age of two. I mean, I have a hard time figuring out why they’re so angry about allowing parents to make the choice. You have people out there who are so mad when you say what the parents should make the choice. If they want their kids to wear a mask, let them wear a mask. If they don’t want to, then they shouldn’t have to wear one. And there are people losing their minds out there because you’re saying the parents have a right to decide what’s best for their kids. It tells you where the left is in our world today.

Cunningham: It does. And I noticed several questions at the news conference to the governor or about that. Why don’t you listen to this group of experts? Why don’t you listen to this group of experts? The state government is there to serve the citizens and the parents initially, most of all. And thank goodness you guys are putting the citizens at the top of the priority list. I for one – thank you for doing that. The news conference was really amazing yesterday, and I think it puts educators and everybody else on notice that parents have got to be the major decision-makers in this process.

Sexton: It’s their children. They know what’s best. They’re going to do what’s best for them and their kids. And people who think otherwise, I just don’t understand that capability. And the other thing is they’re wanting to make examples of people being hospitalized. Well, the people who are hospitalized in Tennessee, I’ve talked to hospitals all across the state and 96 percent of the people in the hospital are unvaccinated people, and they’re the age brackets of 35 to 50. And what I say is, stop listening to the CDC. Stop listening to the national media people and just go have a conversation with your physician, your pediatrician, and your pharmacist and ask them what’s best for you and your family if you’re unsure. But talk to the experts who know about your health and have a conversation. Quit listening to the Washington bureaucrats and the state bureaucrats and the school systems. Have a conversation with the people who know about your health. And then you all make a decision that’s best for you and your family. It’s pretty easy.

Cunningham: Yeah. Absolutely. And so many people have tried to politicize this issue and have a political agenda behind all the press releases that come out. The scare tactics and everything. But I, for one, want to thank you very much for coming out. That was pretty extraordinary. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a press conference like that where you had unity of the legislative and the executive branch. And everybody was saying parents should be the ones who are making these decisions. That’s an extraordinary statement in this day and time.

Sexton: It is. It really is. And I’m glad to be a part of it. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Lee and Commissioner Schwinn and members of the General Assembly, the House and Senate, and listening to the people in our district. And overwhelmingly the people in the district and people across the state of Tennessee believe kids should be back in school. That should be in person. They shouldn’t be doing remote learning. They shouldn’t be doing virtual, and schools should not be shut down. You shouldn’t be requiring a mask. That’s what the people in Tennessee want. But you have people out there, as you said, trying to scare people into believing something that the data does not support.

Cunningham: What is the next step in your decision? What would trigger you to call a special session and what are you monitoring at this point?

Sexton: We’re watching Shelby County looking at requiring mask mandates. I think Williamson County has something coming up where they’re looking at it. So we’re watching that. Davison County’s looking at it. Wilson County had a meeting last night. So we’re just watching. We made our statement. We put it out on record of what we expect, and we’ll see what happens. If people start going in different directions then we’ll go back here and I’m going to ask the governor for a special session. And hopefully, we’ll be able to get that done. And it might be three to four weeks later because by the time you get it organized and set. But I’m curious. If we need to go in, it’s a big enough issue for us to go on a special session to solve this really quickly.

Cunningham: And you can act within 30 days. 45 days. That certainly is a reasonable time frame. Is that correct?

Sexton: It is. You could act within seven days, but the problem is you would have members who might not be in town. People have work. And so you try to give enough time for them to clear their schedule and to be able to have a special session. But yes, you can call a special session within 30 days if you need to pretty easily.

Cunningham: Speaker Sexton, thanks so much for joining us this morning. I know you’re busy as a switch engine this morning with all the press and everything. But that was an amazing news conference there yesterday. And I personally cannot thank you enough for coming out and asserting this parent-centered agenda. I think that’s what so many people in the state want. And thank you so much for being bold and coming out yesterday and very positively asserting that agenda around parents and students.

Sexton: Well, thank you. You’re very kind. And I hope you have a wonderful day. I hope to see you soon.

Cunningham: Great. Thanks so much.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host Leahy Questions Whether Gov. Lee Is Aware of His State’s Own Health Policy on the Mature Minor Doctrine

Host Leahy Questions Whether Gov. Lee Is Aware of His State’s Own Health Policy on the Mature Minor Doctrine

 

Live from Music Row Friday 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 discussed the firing of vaccine chief, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, and Governor Lee’s statement, which exposed his unfamiliarity with the Tennessee Department of Health’s mature minor doctrine.

Michel Patrick Leahy:

Well, we’ve been talking about Governor Billy’s statement yesterday about the termination of Dr. Michelle Fiscus, the state’s former vaccine chief.

And there’s something wrong with the way he’s explained it, it seems to me. By the way, you can call in if you want to disagree or if you have any additional insight into this number.

So here’s the story. Actually, I’m reading the story from Newsweek about this and will elaborate a little bit on some of the headlines that you heard on the radio during the break.

Here’s how Newsweek reported it. Remember, Newsweek is part of The Daily Beast. It’s more of a far-left outfit. So take this with a grain of salt. But they have done the most comprehensive reporting that I’ve seen on this so far.

Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee defended the termination of Michelle Fiscus, the state’s former vaccine chief, who was removed from her duties last week.

Fiscus asserts her firing was due to the outrage of some GOP lawmakers over her handling of state outreach efforts regarding COVID-19 vaccines for minors, the Associated Press reported. Asterisk.

The Associated Press is far left right now. Just so you know. Lee did not provide answers when asked by reporters for the specifics of the firing of Fiscus.

“Government needs to provide information and education, provide access, and we need to do so to the parents of those children. That’s the direction the department took regarding individual personnel decisions. I trust the departments to make decisions consistent with the vision.”

I don’t think that’s exactly the truth. Look, we’ll try to reach out to the governor and get them to come out of the program and elaborate on this.

But I just read from you the mature minor doctrine that is currently on the website of the Tennessee Department of Health. And I’m just reading what it says.

Between the ages of 14 and 18, there is a rebuttable presumption of capacity, and the physical physician may treat without parental consent unless the physician believes that the minor is not sufficiently mature to make his or her own health care decisions.

That is the official current policy of the Tennessee Department of Health and seems to be not the policy that Governor Lee is claiming. Thursday is the first time that Governor Lee spoke out about Fiscus’s termination, and he said State Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey did not tell him the motivations behind her termination.

Okay, not paying attention to what’s going on at a very important issue, it seems to me. Here’s again how Newsweek represented it. Anger emerged from some Republicans after Fiscus distributed a memo earlier this year about the state’s mature minor doctrine that allows minors 14 and older to choose to become vaccinated without guardians’ consent.

From our reading of the mature minor doctrine, which is still today on the Tennessee Department of Health website, that is an accurate reading of what the Tennessee Department of Health doctrine is.

I don’t know if Governor Lee has read that or is aware of it, but he ought to be aware of his own policy in the Tennessee Department of Health.

And this is kind of from The Associated Press, now part of the story. Lee also came out in full defense of his administration’s rollback of outreach for childhood vaccines that have sparked national scrutiny alongside Fiscus’s firing over well. I don’t think it’s a rollback of outreach.

I don’t know if that’s actually true either, because we’ve got Kerry Roberts saying that’s how Newsweek describes it. But basically what they’re describing is a rollback, Kerry Roberts says they’ve agreed to stop marketing to minors.

I don’t know if they’ve stopped promoting the idea that parents should be involved in deciding whether or not to have their kids vaccinated for COVID-19.

I’ll get to my take on the science of this, by the way, in a bit. One online post featuring a photo of a smiling child with a bandaid on his arm said, “Tennesseean’s 12 plus are eligible for a vaccine. Give COVID-19 vaccines a shot.”

Earlier this year, Fiscus released a memo detailing Tennessee’s mature minor doctrine which traces back to a 1987 state Supreme Court case.

It led to a firestorm at a legislative meeting last month. Dr. Fiscus is accurate in describing Tennessee’s mature minor doctrine, right? It’s accurate.

Now whether or not she should have sent that out without reviewing it in detail with a general counsel, that probably is a matter of judgment.

Tennessee is one of five states where providers have the discretion to decide if a minor is mature enough to consent to vaccination without a parent according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which said 41 other sites require parental consent, and five others have a self consent age under 18.

Okay. So look, Governor Lee, despite all of this brouhaha, it does appear that the current doctrine of your government and your administration is to allow children as young as 14 to receive this COVID-19 vaccination without parental consent if the administering physician thinks that they are sufficiently mature.

That, Governor Lee, is your doctrine right now. I agree with the legislators who said that ought not to be the doctrine. But Governor Lee, maybe he’s not aware of that and he’s not paying attention to what the doctrine really is of his own administration.

Again, it seems like that to me. By the way, you can jump in on this topic. I would like to hear from you. GOP lawmakers said in a meeting Wednesday they have received private reassurances from Piercey and a governor’s office officials that the state Health Department of Education and 89 of 95 County Health Departments won’t be offering COVID 19 vaccines to minors without their parents’ permission. Okay, well, that’s an assurance.

But that assurance conflicts with the current mature minor doctrine (Chuckles) that is promoted as the Tennessee Department of Health website. What’s wrong with that picture, Governor Lee?

Apparently, he seems to be unaware of any of this. Not a good situation in my view. You got to be on top of it. And I would say the mature minor doctrine needs to be changed.

I’ll do this over the break and look into that 1987 Tennessee Supreme Court decision upon which apparently this mature minor doctrine is based.

Listen to the first hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Ogles on Critical Race Theory: ‘Once You Capture the Minds of the Children, You’re Changing the Next Generation’

Andy Ogles on Critical Race Theory: ‘Once You Capture the Minds of the Children, You’re Changing the Next Generation’

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to discuss Tennessee’s stance on Critical Race Theory and questioned why the state is not leading like Florida in the representation of its values.

Leahy: In studio mayor of Maury County. Yes, the bastion of freedom in Tennessee. (Laughs)

Ogles: Turbocharged.

Leahy: Oh, we got to change that. The mayor of Maury County, the turbocharged bastion of freedom.

Scooter: I see tourism posters now. (Laughter)

Leahy: Yes, the turbocharged. That’s very good.

Ogles: About every two weeks, we’re adding phrases to this. Another month from now, this is going to be like a whole paragraph of descriptors for Maury County,

Leahy: Maury County the turbocharged bastion of freedom. You know, Andy, I am the unofficial ambassador for the state of Tennessee to people who live outside of Tennessee, because every time we have a guest who’s a good conservative-minded, I point out to them that wherever they’re living, if they live outside of Tennessee, that we have no state income tax here. And they all start whining and say, when can I get there?

Ogles: That’s right. Book me a ticket.

Leahy: So I suppose I’m also kind of a subset of that. I may be perhaps not an ambassador, but a promoter of Maury County as well. That turbocharged, bastion of freedom in Tennessee. I wanted to talk to you about this and get your reaction, Andy.

The rally last on Saturday night in Ohio, attended by now it looks like around 30,000 people. The former President began by lambasting the absolute disaster that the five months under Joe Biden have been.

The first thing he listed was the disaster at the border where the current maladministration is refusing to enforce immigration law. By the way, that refusal is probably an impeachable offense, in my view.

But he also mentioned the fact that they’re trying to force Critical Race Theory everywhere in K12 schools as well as in the military of all places, because, you know, nothing says defending the sovereignty of America like having a woke military.

I want to bring this back around to Tennessee. A couple of stories at The Tennessee Star today on Critical Race Theory. I wanted to get your reaction, Andy. So Corinne Murdock our ace reporter and Hillsdale Graduate has this story.

Part of the Wit and Wisdom Curriculum May Violate Tennessee’s Critical Race Theory Ban, According to Moms for Liberty. The parent coalition is concerned that the Wit and wisdom curriculum approved for use in 33 counties and promoted by Governor Bill Lee’s handpicked Secretary of Education Penny Schwinn, may violate Tennessee’s K-12 Critical Race Theory ban.

My question to you is, why does Governor Lee pick a Secretary of Education who’s promoting a curriculum that looks like it violates the new law banning the teaching of the tenants of Critical Race Theory in K-12?

Ogles: Wow, that’s a loaded question.

Leahy: I’m just asking. inquiring minds want to know what, Andy?

Ogles: But you even go back before that. Why would we have a Commissioner of Education, Penny Schwinn who puts forth this well-being initiative where every child zero to 18 would be interviewed by an agent of the state without their parents’ permission or presence?

And why wasn’t she fired then? And so why would we be surprised? And keep in mind, Critical Race Theory is a label that represents an agenda. It’s not necessarily a curriculum. And so we’ve got to be careful with these labels because then they say, well, wait a minute.

Well, this isn’t Critical Race Theory. It’s wit and wisdom. We’re simply trying to educate your child. We’re trying to educate your child on this agenda that totally undermines our country.

And so why she hasn’t been fired by either the governor or by the General Assembly demanding her resignation is a travesty of the values that represent Tennessee?

Leahy: Why would somebody who purports to be conservative hire such a person?

Ogles: He’s not. At the end of the day, the governor is a nice guy, but he’s not a conservative.

Leahy: Well, I think there’s a general consensus that he’s a nice guy. Asterisk, my question to you is if he’s such a nice guy, why does he never respond to The Tennessee Star inquiries?

Why has he not shown up on our radio program? We can get an exclusive interview with the former President of the United States, but we can’t get Governor Bill Lee to return our phone calls.

Ogles: Right.

Leahy: That’s a mystery.

Ogles: I would love to sit in studio across the desk and have this debate. The three of us. It’s an open invitation to talk about some of these substantive issues facing this country in the state of Tennessee.

Tennessee should have been leading the past 18 months the way Florida and Ron DeSantis have led. And when you compare Tennessee to Florida, we have failed across the measure.

Leahy: Yes. Florida is kind of the standard, isn’t it? Isn’t Ron DeSantis, the kind of governor that every state needs? Every state needs a Ron DeSantis pushing against the egregious intrusions upon state sovereignty and the violations of the fundamental concept of federalism that are coming out of the mal-administration of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Joe Biden. That’s my view. Why can’t every state have a Ron DeSantis?

Ogles: Well, again, I think one it’s a difference in personality and it’s a difference in core values. Ron DeSantis did not back down during COVID when you had the cruise industry trying to mandate and require vaccines.

He stood up to the cruise industry, a multi-billion dollar industry forcing them to change their policies. Meanwhile, in Tennessee, we don’t have the courage, if you will, to take a stand and protect individuals from these mandates.

I just saw in The Tennessee Star that you have a college in Memphis that’s going to require all students to get the vaccine. You have to show proof of vaccination in order to come to the University.

College students aren’t at risk for COVID. Let’s identify the vulnerable and make sure it’s available to them. Then we’ve got to move on and move forward but these mandates are a direct infringement on liberty and medical freedom.

This vaccine now has a warning on heart inflammation. So now we’re a year and a half into this thing, and we know more about this vaccine than we knew just a few months ago and they’re having to put warning labels on it.

And yet the government is requiring and mandating it. Holy crap! This is not acceptable.

Leahy: It’s very interesting how the bureaucrats are playing this Critical Race Theory ban on the tenants of Critical Race Theory. I kind of get the impression that the Educrats who are almost all lefties running the major school systems in Tennessee, the big ones, I think they’re kind of playing us.

It’s my view, anyway, but they say one thing, and then I think they kind of do another. Let me just get your reaction to this story, and we ought to have these guys in if they’ll come in. It’s interesting.

The spokesperson for Metro Nashville Public Schools ideologically, not necessarily what we’re aligned with will talk to The Tennessee Star. Governor Lee will not. I don’t know if I told you, but former President Donald Trump will exclusively talk to The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Just in case, for a matter of comparison right now, interestingly enough.

Here’s the headline. Metro Nashville Public School Says It Won’t Implement Critical Race Theory by our great reporter, Corinne Murdock. Metro Nashville Public Schools informed The Tennessee Star that it doesn’t plan to implement Critical Race Theory.

Metro Nashville Public School spokesperson Sean  Braisted. Do you remember him? He used to be the spokesperson for Megan Barry.

Ogles: There you go.

Leahy: That guy. He responded to The Tennessee Star about remarks from the district’s diversity, equity, and inclusion Executive Officer Astrid Hughes. Did you know that Metro Nashville has a diversity, equity, and inclusion executive officer? (Ogles giggles)

Now you do. We asked whether Hughes would implement any of the banned tenants in Metro Nashville’s forthcoming Equity Roadmap. And if Metro Nashville Public Schools plan to implement Critical Race Theory.

Here’s what Sean  Braisted responded. “Mr. Hughes was not suggesting those reading materials be a part of the school curriculum, but rather that those interested in discussing the subject read about what they are discussing.” Really? Really? I’m not quite buying that, Andy. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just too skeptical about Educrats.

Ogles: When you look at this trend that’s taken place over the last 10, 20, 30 years, the Educrats as you say, first got into the universities. Now they’re pushing it into the seminary.

They’re pushing into our high school and now or even our elementary schools. And once you capture the minds of the children, you’re changing the next generation. You’re affecting politics.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Andy Ogles: ‘Tennessee Has Become a Magnet State for Illegals’

Mayor Andy Ogles: ‘Tennessee Has Become a Magnet State for Illegals’

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to discuss the influx of illegal immigration and refugees and how they receive benefits before American veterans.

(Border Patrol Agent Art Del Cueto clip plays)

Leahy: That is Art Del Cueto who works on the border there and is saying something obvious. The fact that people think, oh, it’s just on the border, they’re just having problems in the border state. And Texas to Mexico, Arizona, California not true. Those problems are coming every day to Tennessee, Andy Ogles, mayor of Maury County.

Ogles: I think the problem is that, yes, they’re coming through the southern border but then where do they go from there?

Nashville is a Mecca for illegals coming into the country, and policies that have been in place here in Tennessee are not being enforced and it has made us a magnet state for illegals.

And that’s a problem as we go forward and the notion that you can just call for hearings is preposterous. So you have a Democratically controlled Senate, you have a Democratically controlled U.S. House.

So what’s the purpose aside from just bringing hot cocoa and marshmallows, because that’s all you’re gonna get.

Leahy: And generating some video clips that mean nothing. On June 10, Governor Bill Lee and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds joined with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, in calling for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding the crisis of the southern border and an ensuing flow of accompanied minors to states all around the country.

This is from a press release from Governor Lee on June 10. Well, let me just begin. Senator Chuck Grassley, he’s not the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He’s the ranking minority member because Democrats control the Senate.

They’ve got 50 Republican senators and 50 Democrat. And because of the legal but not legitimate November 2020 election, Kamala Harris, who’s not into the border yet, is the deciding vote.

That’s why we’ve got a Democrat majority in the Senate. Is there anything more useless, Andy, than begging the Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on all the bad things happening at the border?

Ogles: Again, it’s a do-nothing attempt for a future campaign talking point. It really amounts to nothing. You’re not going to get anything out of this Congress. Now, that being said in 2022, I think we’re going to have a wave election.

I think it’s going to be similar to Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America, where we just swept everything. I think you can see that happening and building as you have more data coming out of Arizona and Georgia elections where you have more and more illegals and refugees coming across the border, that people are fed up, they’re frustrated and they want their country back.

And then on top of that, you have critical race theory where you have now it’s in our universities, it’s in our schools. There is no poll that can be accurate going into 2022, because when you have a group like Mom’s for Liberty out of Williamson County.

A county that is affluent. And when you have affluence you have complacency that tends to set in. And you’ve got a Monday or Tuesday where you suddenly have 500 moms who haven’t been involved in politics for a very long time if they ever were.

And they are mad and they’re mad at their legislature. They’re mad at their governor, and they want this crap out of the schools. And again, it’s critical race theory, it’s immigration, and it’s the election.

There are all of these things that are stacking on top of one another. And so when you have leadership, not taking action, not truly leading, that’s what’s manifesting itself across the country.

And even here in Tennessee. And so to your point, under the governor, during the Trump administration, at a time when there were fewer refugees coming into this country, The Tennessee Star did an article talking about refugee resettlement went up. 46 percent in the state of Tennessee. So we’re now a magnet for these refugees.

Leahy: And one of the reasons is because Governor Bill Lee when he was given the opportunity to say no by President Trump. And the Tennessee General Assembly had said they filed the lawsuit back in 2015, saying we don’t want refugees resettled here because you plop them down here, and then we got to pay for their health care, their education, et cetera.

We don’t have the budget. It’s a violation of the Tenth Amendment. Neither Governor Haslam nor Governor Lee would back that lawsuit. It was thrown out of the federal district court for lack of standing because a governor wouldn’t join him.

Ogles: And what’s frustrating as a county mayor and we’ve talked about this before. We have veteran service offices in most counties across the state of Tennessee. And so you have people who come here as refugees, illegals, or whatever their status may be, and they’re immediately getting services from the state of Tennessee.

Meanwhile, I’ve got veterans who have served this country where we’ve made promises to them to take care of them, and they can’t get services. I have a disproportionate number of my veterans who have mental issues. They can’t get treatment.

Leahy: American citizens.

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: Who served their country in the military and who can’t get medical treatment. And yet non-citizens, illegal aliens are given everything.

Ogles: Everything.

Leahy: Everything. And Governor Bill Lee is there cheering that on.

Ogles: Not only that but wave the flag. He’s out there with the little orange flashlight helping the planes come on in.

Leahy: Come on in! Come on in!

Ogles: But to the point of the plane, because we become so friendly to this policy and again, we’re choosing illegals and refugees over our veterans that we now find out that you have planes landing in the middle of the night in Chattanooga and Knoxville, and God knows where else in the state of Tennessee because we’re now a pass-through for this federal program.

And I’m sick of it. And this is one of those issues where you talked about, how me being this nice Southern gentleman or whatever. And just kind of being even-keeled. This really ticks me off!

Leahy: Well, see, now, this is interesting. The nice Southern gentleman is ticked off by something, (Ogles chuckles) but for good reason. I think.

Ogles: Absolutely. It’s infuriating that we have our veterans who have served this country. I can’t get them services. I have employees every day fighting for our veterans. Meanwhile, if you come here illegally, if you ‘can get refugee status’, we give you food and we give you housing, and we give you health care, and we give you all this stuff, hey you want a phone while you’re at it? But then I’ve got veterans who aren’t getting the services that they truly need.

Leahy: Now, the other thing about this is and perhaps this is Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit and constitutional law professor in the University of Tennessee, has said often we have the worst political class in American history.

And I have to agree with him on that. When I say the political class, I mean, the decision-makers who basically are in the business of creating press releases and doing nothing except getting reelected.

Why do we not have strong, courageous leadership in this state that will stand up to the usurpers of states’ rights in the federal government? Why is that? How did we come to that mess?

Ogles: I will say that we actually do have strong leadership who’s willing to take those stands. It just happens to be the Governor of Florida.

Leahy: (Laughs) Now, that’s funny. That is funny.

Ogles: What would Ron DeSantis do? I mean, that’s the question. If you’re a governor of a red state and at the end of the day, when you wake up in the morning, you should ask yourself, what would Ron DeSantis do today? And if you’re not doing that, you’re not doing your dang job.

Leahy: That’s a really good line. I saw wasn’t there was kind of a Faith and Freedom convention recently with Ralph Reid and his group. And they do these straw polls, right? And there was a straw poll.

They apparently had governor for 2024 Republican candidate with Governor DeSantis was slightly ahead of former President Trump in that. I thought that was interesting.

Ogles: DeSantis has come out repeatedly and said he’s not running in ’24 against Trump and that he’s focused on his re-election in 2022.

Leahy: Which is the right thing to say. But really, look, if you want to look at the survival of our constitutional Republic, the most important period of time actually is not 2024. It’s the next 18 months.

What happens between now and the midterm elections and do we fix the election integrity problems and do governors’ step up and push back against the violation of immigration laws?

Listen to the second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.