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WREG: Tennessee House Speaker plans to call special session if schools issue mask mandates

August 4, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The new school year is getting started as Tennessee has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. While doctors have been calling for masks in schools amid the spread of the more contagious Delta variant, Tennessee’s Speaker of the House disagrees.

During a press conference on Monday afternoon, Cameron Sexton threatened school districts with potential legislative force if they choose to issue a mask mandate or close schools due to the pandemic.

“We want parents making the decision on whether to wear masks in schools,” said Sexton. “So, I sure hope school systems do not require a mask mandate for these students and if they do, I’m going to ask the governor for a special session.

Sexton said there needs to be a message sent to schools, “…It’s unacceptable to close schools or systems and our state anymore.”

The Republican lawmaker said the focus should be keeping students in school and boosting test scores.

“Right now, the survival rate for a child is 99.9999%. There is a lot more things that are dangerous for children, right now, on the death rate than this, based on statistical, actual information.”

Monday afternoon, Dr. Michelle Fiscus, tweeted that threats of forbidding school closures and mask mandates would put the lives of children at risk. Dr. Fiscus, the state’s top vaccine doctor, was fired by Tennessee officials last month.

During a media briefing earlier Monday, Dr. Lisa Piercey, the Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health, said the state has seen a 200% increase in cases since July 1.

Though the numbers are still below what the state was seeing earlier this year, the last few weeks have shown a sharp increase in cases. Over the weekend (July 30 – August 1) Tennessee reported 6,889 new COVID cases, which is more than what the state saw in the entire month of June (6,616 new cases).

“Tennessee House Speaker outlines vision of healthcare as economy works to re-open” – WKRN

April 17, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — From the White House to Tennessee’s statehouse, there has been much talk this week of re-opening the economy.

One of the areas a top Tennessee leader wants to focus on is the healthcare sector.

Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton, who has long been involved in healthcare policy, outlined in broad strokes what he would like to do earlier this week, but he began his Zoom appearance before the Economic Club of Nashville with a reminder.

“Speaker Sexton urges constituents to stay home, social distance” – Crossville Chronicle

April 2, 2020

Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton urged his constituents to stay home, practice social distancing, use good hand washing hygiene and to stay the course in the coming weeks to help flatten the curve and spread of the COVID-19 virus during a Tuesday evening telephone town hall event.

“We need to play our part … it’s a sacrifice, but If we follow CDC guidance and remain steady and positive, we’ll come out on the other side of this,” Sexton said.

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