All Star Panelist Roger Simon on the Ever Changing Mask Mandates and Vaccination Information

All Star Panelist Roger Simon on the Ever Changing Mask Mandates and Vaccination Information


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 all-star panelist and senior editor-at-large at The Epoch Times, Roger Simon, in-studio to discuss the moving goalposts of mask mandates and vaccination requirements as subscribed and supported by local and national medical advisors.

Leahy: Good friend, the newest all-star panelist on The Tennessee Star Report, Roger Simon. Roger, you’re telling us your Larry Elder story. You’re friends with Larry?

Simon: Yeah. And he’s a hard worker. He’s leading in the polls of the challengers to Gavin Newsom. It’s possible on September 16th, 2021, he could be inaugurated as the next governor of California. I’m hoping.

Leahy: So am I.

Simon: But, boy, would that be a flipperoo?

Leahy: Would that be something? I love it!

Simon: Anything’s possible in this crazy world.

Leahy: Just so you know, we have a lot of readers of The Tennessee Star in California, listeners of this program on the iHeart App, because if you’re a conservative in California, you got no other place to go.

Simon: Oh, well, you got The Epoch Times and Breitbart. Not too much. And I’m sure that you have people reading in California. Anyways, I got to know Larry because I was a guest on his talk show quite a few times. It started a long time ago.

We knew him well enough and so we said let’s invite Larry and his girlfriend over for dinner. So we did. And Larry said, fine. And he shows up at the door and said, where are the cars? I said, we invited you guys over for dinner. He said, but isn’t this a book party for your book? (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: He couldn’t imagine just a social engagement.

Simon: There is just no time for it in Elderland. Because he couldn’t imagine. I mean, there’s no room for it. So that shows you what kind of governor he’d be. On the case all the time.

Leahy: If he’s elected governor, we will open a California Star. No question about it.

Simon: He’ll be the California Star.

Leahy: He will be. That’s a good – another good line from Roger Simon, the wordsmith.

Simon: I’m thinking about going out there for a few days.

Leahy: We’d like you to do that and give us a report.

Simon: I’ll give you a report. I’ll be doing it for The Epoch Times and call in.

Leahy: Call in.

Simon: But, you know, wait a minute. I won’t be able to wake up that early.

Leahy: We can record it.

Simon: It’ll be late news, though.

Leahy: Some kind of local news here. A little segue here. Scott Rasmussen is a great pollster. He does polling for a good friend of ours at Ballotpedia. Our friend Leslie Graves. I had dinner with her and her husband in Madison, Wisconsin, two weeks ago.

Simon: Really?

Leahy: Because we’re opening up The Wisconsin Daily Star there in about a month or so, and she put together this Ballotpedia. It’s a great source. It’s sort of like the Almanac of American Politics on the web. But with more detail.

Simon: And more truth in it. If you’re looking for truth, stay away from Wikipedia.

Leahy: There you go. So here we have the number of the day from Scott Rasmussen, July 29th, 2021. Here’s what he writes – Looking back over the past year or so, 55 percent of voters agree that, ‘despite good intentions, shutting down businesses and locking down society did more harm than good.’

A Scott Rasmussen National Survey found that only 38 percent disagree and seven percent – These totals represent that 34 percent strongly agree. And so that’s a very significant number as we look at more draconian, authoritarian lockdowns.

Simon: Yes. In plain English: Here we go again. This is a scary time we’re living in, and I think everybody knows it. People have to look at all the facts because they’re very confusing. I’m one of the people who become increasingly agnostic about everything that we’re being told. And one thing to remember is that when the government is telling you something obsessively…

Leahy: Why are they obsessive about it?

Simon: Why, exactly?

Leahy: It sounds like it’s the old saying. If you repeat something often enough, even if it’s factually untrue, people will start to believe it. Now I want to get your reaction to one of our – we got a couple of stories – I’d like to get your reaction to the lead story at The Tennessee Star. by Chris Butler.

Vanderbilt Medical Professor Supports Wearing Masks, Even for Those Vaccinated Against COVID-19. The CDC came out with these weird recommendations about wearing masks. But first, on masks. I’ve not seen the evidence that wearing a mask actually stops the physical transmission of Covid.

Simon: I haven’t either. And just by wearing the kind of masks that most of us wear, you can tell that. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist as they say.

Leahy: Or a Professor at Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

Simon: The interesting thing about Vanderbilt. I’m a Vanderbilt patient. I have a very fine doctor who’s part of the whole network. I’m sure a lot of people listening to this right now are too.

Leahy: Yes it’s the largest employer in Middle Tennessee.

Simon: And also a nationally recognized hospital. All the rest of that.

Leahy: It’s like a top 20 medical school.

Simon: All good. But is it all good? Is there a medical-industrial complex that Vanderbilt, just like my father’s Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and all the rest of these things, are part of?

I think it’s very interesting. And very few of these places will give you hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin, which are now – have been acknowledged to be able to ameliorate the situation very quickly for a lot of people.

Leahy: Here’s the story and I’ll get your reaction to it. A professor at Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases reportedly said this week that new government guidelines (confusing as all get out, by the way), saying that even vaccinated people should wear masks in some areas of the country is an idea of which he agrees.

William Schaffner, who serves as a professor of medicine, reportedly told The Epoch Times – They’re everywhere! – that he believes the new guidance makes sense. I’m trying to sort this out, and I’m as confused as you.

Simon: Nobody can. Because it changes 20 minutes later.

Leahy: Here’s what he said. I’m going to read what he said, and we tried to follow up. He wouldn’t talk to us. He talks to The Epoch Times, but not to The Tennessee Star. Go figure.

Simon: Don’t be offended. (Laughter)

Leahy: That’s a funny point. All right, Here’s what he said. ‘The vaccines are excellent at keeping us out of hospital but not quite as good as preventing infection. And if you’re going to get an infection, even though you’re vaccinated, you could also transmit it to others.

You’re less likely to do that, but nonetheless, you could do it. And so I think this new guidance helps protect the people who are vaccinated and also contributes to our reduction in transmission to others.’ (Sighs and Laughter)

Simon: You no see kemosabe. (Chuckles) I hate to bring up crazy stuff, but I was watching the War Room last night on video.

Leahy: You saw Bannon’s War Room.

Simon: There was a guy on there. There are so many of these doctors now.

Leahy: Now there you go. And you never know which doctor is a little bit the expert in vaccines and pro-vaccine but had a lot of evidence that the Pfizer vaccine runs out in six months.

Leahy: Okay, so now I had not heard that before. By the way, I took the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Simon: What he’s saying effectively is by taking the Pfizer vaccine, we are setting ourselves up for continued renewal of vaccines.

Leahy: Well, that’s what this guy says. But again, it’s one report. But what it illustrates to me, Roger, is there’s no real consensus that I can determine. Let’s go back to the CDC guidelines. This new CDC director, Rochelle Walinsky, she sounds like she’s right out of George Orwell.

Simon: The whole thing is.

Leahy: Unbelievable. And the standard is: okay, the guidance, it’s a recommendation, right? It’s not a rule. It’s a recommendation.

Simon: This week.

Leahy: This week, wait for the wind to change. What they’re saying is if you live in a county where the transmission, not the death rate, the transmission rate is more than – in the past seven days has been more than 100, per 100, then they recommend you wear a mask.

Side note, nobody’s ever proved it stopped transmission, from what I can tell, indoors. I looked at the numbers for Williamson County, Rutherford County, Murray County, and Davidson County. Of those four, Davidson County is not in the high-risk category. They’re not.

Simon: Really? I didn’t know that.

Leahy: No, well, for the transmission, they’re at 92 per 100,000. The guidance doesn’t apply to Davidson County.

Simon: It applies to Williamson.

Leahy: But Williamson, Rutherford, and Murray. They’re like, at 105 or 100,000.

Simon: This is the difference when I drive between the two.

Leahy: So when you’re in the car and when you cross the line, put on that mask, Roger! (Laughter)

Simon: I keep it right there in my glovebox.

Leahy: That’s funny.

Simon: It’s funny in a way, but it’s like crazy now. The other thing is that these recommendations are getting to be irrelevant because in every workplace – I’m surprised that we’re not next right here – every workplace, everything you do they are making these requirements so that whether the government does or says anything or not, you’re already wrapped up in it.

Leahy: And a private employer has the right to set their own standards. Asterisk, at what point do those standards violate your individual rights? Question mark.

Simon: Big question mark. But every job virtually now is requiring a vaccination.

Leahy: You got all these different things you want to go back and forth on.

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.
















Andy Ogles Weighs in on Tennessee Department of Health Mature Minor Doctrine and Parental Consent

Andy Ogles Weighs in on Tennessee Department of Health Mature Minor Doctrine and Parental Consent


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 weigh in on the uncertainty of the mature minor doctrine by the Tennessee Health Department and the right of parental consent with administering the COVID vaccine to minor children.

Leahy: Well, we’re enjoying some good coffee. It’s just, we’re enjoying this good coffee. And, of course, what I’m afraid of, Andy – No, I’m not afraid of – I know this is coming. Round two of lockdowns from the authoritarian Democrats establishment media. It’s coming.

You can see it. It’s like a Big Mac truck coming down the highway right at you. That’s what I see. I think you are involved in a little bit of pushback. The Freedom Matters Tour is coming to Tellico Village tomorrow night. Tell us about that.

Ogles: Yes. We launched The Freedom Matters Tour. Tennessee Stands is helping coordinate it. You can go to You can see our dates.

Leahy: And it’s And Tennessee Stands, this is Gary Humble’s group.

Ogles: That’s right. Gary is doing a great job. A lot of the lawsuits that have been filed against Williamson County, Davidson County, against the governor on freedom and liberty as it pertains to COVID, his group, either directly or indirectly, has been involved with.

And so really kind of tip of the spear as far as trying to get this adjudicated, through court. And one of the things they’ve been fighting is the whole issue of standing and the AG dodging the question. But oddly enough, there was actually legislation passed by the Tennessee legislature as introduced by Casada.

Leahy: Glen Casada.

Ogles: And Harwell was the Speaker at the time, which says, and I’m going to abbreviate here and summarize that any Tennessee citizen has the right to challenge the action of their government in court. So they by default have standing.

Leahy: Standing is that excuse that courts use when they don’t want to deal with a difficult issue. People who are lawyers spend their lives finding out about who has standing and who doesn’t?

And often as a nonlawyer, I’ll look at a case where it looks like, obviously, this plaintiff has standing, and the courts will say, no, you don’t have standing. And I try to figure out, how do they determine that? It defies logic to me sometimes. What’s the prospect of that particular law being passed.

Ogles: So the law is actually already passed.

Leahy: The law is passed and has been signed into law.

Ogles: Correct. This goes back to when Beth Harwell was Speaker and Glen Casada. And I forget who the Senate sponsor was? And forgive me for that. Mike Carter recently passed away of cancer – was co-sponsor.

He was an attorney by trade. The court ruled there was an issue of standing. So they have since appealed, and they’ve gone back to the General Assembly’s actual recordings. They’ve hired a stenographer and created an official transcript.

And my understanding is they have documentation from Glen, Representative Casada himself explaining the intent that would give any citizen to sue the actions of the governor or, say, a County Mayor for doing some of these mandates as it pertains to COVID.

Leahy: We’re going to go back to this so-called mature minor doctrine. What a mess that’s been. Go ahead.

Ogles: It epitomizes government overreach and this idea that suddenly you’re going to have health care professionals and the government talking to your child without your permission, giving them a vaccine – 14-year-olds a vaccine. But when you go back to the original actual facts of the case, it was a unique decision.

Leahy: Here’s what’s interesting about what happened about this. I’m gonna tell you something new. Something new about the mature minor doctrine.

It’s a legal doctrine that was codified in the 1987 Tennessee Supreme Court decision. It was called Caldwell v. Bechtel. It had to do with a 17-year, 7-month-year-old girl.

Ogles: She was almost an adult.

Leahy: Almost an adult who presented herself as an adult to an osteopath, the chiropractor who treated her. And there was some negative consequences. They sued.

And the Tennessee Supreme Court said that although we’re a common law state, in this particular instance, the presumption is there’s a standard in other states called the rule of seven.

In essence, it said, for anybody age 14 to 18, there’s a rebuttable presumption that they are mature, asterisk. But they applied it to that case and they said, well, a 17-year-old and 7-month-old woman/girl who presents herself as an adult, the doctor could expect her to be mature.

It’s very different to apply that legal doctrine – not upstate policy – but legal doctrine to a situation where you’ve got a 14-year-old who is clearly not capable of analyzing the risk associated with taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

How it became ‘state policy,’ interesting, the mature minor doctrine. We did some research on this, Andy. And it did not appear on any Tennessee Department health website until May 21st of this year. How about that?

And Janice Bowling in testimony when the Commissioner of Health appeared, said, look, you’re making a mistake about this doctrine. It’s not a policy of the state. This is simply a legal doctrine to be applied by judges in the case of litigation. Totally different.

Ogles: That’s right. Again, you have a situation where you have a young woman, who’s literally three months away from her 18th birthday, who is seeking medical treatment for excruciating pain.

And again, that’s oversimplifying the facts. Now you’re going to have a state agency going out and hocking a vaccine to 14, 15-year-olds without their parents’ consent.

Leahy: Not just hocking it, administering it.

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: Without parents’ consent. And by the way, last week, Governor Lee made a kind of loosey-goosey statement in which he implied that the state government of Tennessee would not be delivering vaccines to kids age 14 without parental consent. The very next day, the commissioner of health said, yes, we are. Does he know who’s running the show?

Ogles: (Chuckles) I think it’s part of a pattern with this administration. They try to be on both sides of an issue. If they do something, they only do enough so that he can campaign on it, but not enough to actually affect change.

That’s why we still have universities in the state of Tennessee that can allow men to compete as women in college sports. Whereas in Florida, Ron DeSantis said enough was enough.

And so in Tennessee, we haven’t figured out that a dude in a dress is still a dude. (Leahy laughs) So here we are on both sides of an issue.

Leahy: So true.

Ogles: Where there’s a clear definition. If you’re a guy and you’re wearing a dress it’s your business right? But then don’t show up and try to go to the women’s restroom. Don’t try to enroll yourself into women’s sports right? You’re a guy.

Go be a guy. All right? You just happen to be a guy in a dress. That is plain and simple. And now you have this vaccine issue, the mature minor doctrine. And the governor is trying to be on both sides of this issue when clearly this is up to parents and parents alone. The government should not be trying to dictate my child’s health care.

Leahy: But see, what I think happened here is that the left-wing bureaucrats in the Department of Health, because they’re looking at this 38 percent vaccine adoption rate in Tennessee.

And they’re thinking, how do we get that up? And they say, oh, well, look at all these 14-year-old, 15-year old, and 16-year-olds. Look at all these teenagers.

We can force them to take this vaccine. How can we legally force them to take this vaccine without parental consent? Well, they can’t legally do it, actually.

But they have used this idea. They found this 1987 decision, they’ve misinterpreted it, and they’ve cast it as a state policy. And they’re using that as an excuse to administer the vaccine to 14-year-olds without parental consent.

Ogles: What everyone needs to understand is that the Tennessee Department of Health was created by the General Assembly. It’s not a constitutional department, and they work at the will of the people.

Leahy: And when you say that like the attorney general, that’s a constitutional office.

Ogles: That’s right.

Leahy: But the Tennessee Department of Health is not a constitutional office.

Ogles: These folks have gone off script and I would say today they should all be fired, period. But this governor doesn’t have the courage to do it.

And the General Assembly should call a special session and protect our children instead of sitting on the sidelines the way they have through most of COVID.

Leahy: Well, they have. And part of it has to do that they were very busy in their first session. But I think it would be a really good idea to have a special session to really figure out what the state policy is.

Is it what the governor says it is or is it what the commissioner of health says? Hmm, inquiring minds want to know.

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.