Tennessee won’t incentivize COVID shots, but pays to vaccinate cows – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-08-03 07:04:33 –

Nashville, Tennessee (AP) — Tennessee has sent nearly $ 500,000 to farmers who have vaccinated cattle for respiratory and other illnesses over the past two years.

However, Republican Governor Bill Lee, who grew up on his family’s ranch and calls himself a livestock farmer on his Twitter profile, was less enthusiastic about encouraging human herd immunity.

Tennessee has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, but Lee refuses to follow the leadership of other states that are tempting people to get the potentially life-saving COVID-19 vaccine. did.

Lee is not always against encouraging vaccination.

The Tennessee Herd Health Program began in 2019 under Lee. Lee raises polled Hereford cattle at his family-owned Triple L lunch. According to documents from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the state is currently refunding up to $ 1,500 for herd immunization to participating farmers and giving out $ 492,561 over the last two fiscal years.

Lee has avoided seriously challenging the Republican primaries in the 2022 re-election, but has been complacent and criticized in the face of a deadly pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccination rate in Tennessee is 39% of the total population, compared to over 49% nationwide for complete vaccination. State COVID hospitalizations have more than tripled in the last three weeks, and infectious diseases have more than five-fold increased.

At the Tennessee Livestock Association’s annual meeting on Friday, Lee said he didn’t think the incentives were very effective, WBIR-TV reported. “I don’t think it’s the role of government,” he added. “The role of the government is to make it available and encourage people to get vaccinated.”

In an email reply to a question about the contrast with encouraging cattle vaccination, spokesman Casey Black wrote: Although veterinarians can consider raising and consuming cattle safely, the state will continue to provide human Tennessees with information and access to the COVID-19 vaccine. “

After Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine Announcement The May 12 state Vax-a-Million lottery includes a $ 1 million prize and a full college scholarship, as well as many other states across the country. Follow suit With your own incentives.They include custom equipped trucks West Virginia, Annual pass to state park New jersey, And hunting and fishing license gift vouchers Arkansas.. Last week, President Joe Biden participated in an incentive call, encouraging state and local governments to use federal funds to pay people $ 100 for vaccination.

However, Lee avoided adopting any of these tactics and argued through the pandemic that the decision to vaccinate against COVID-19 was a personal choice.

“We would like to encourage Tennessees to speak with the trusted voices of doctors, clergy, families and lives to make personal decisions about whether to pursue vaccination.” He recently told reporters. “But we encourage it because it is the tool that allows us to manage this virus most effectively.”

Lee was vaccinated against COVID-19, but did not announce it as he did when he was vaccinated against the flu.

Recently, the Lee administration has been accused after the state The vaccination officer has ended What she called an attempt to appease Republicans resented by the outreach of COVID-19 vaccination of minors. At a June hearing, a Republican lawmaker called an ad promoting vaccinations for teens “can be blamed,” and some lawmakers even suggested that they might withdraw funds from the Ministry of Health. I did.

Dr. Michel Fiscus shared her with a voice about what she considers to be the political motive for her dismissal. Positive performance evaluation In the press.Fiscus too Called out Health Department to stop outreach of all childhood vaccinations, not just COVID-19. The ministry then resumed outreach, but said it was only for parents.

Lee was initially silent about the controversy. next, Recent press conferenceLee said he supported her decision with Health Commissioner Lisa Piercy, but said he had no direct relationship with them.

Dr. Jason Martin, who has been treating patients with COVID-19 in Sumner County since the outbreak of the pandemic, is very disappointed with the state’s response and is seeking to run for governor. The Democrats want Lee to be “excited to motivate Tennessees to get a safe, effective, life-saving vaccine,” he said. “It helps us beat COVID, keep our business open and prosperous, and safely bring our children back to school.”

Black, a spokesman for Lee, did not answer the question of whether the governor’s family farm received money from the herd health program, but the Department of Agriculture records show that a person named Lee was the recipient. Is not shown to be.

Tennessee won’t incentivize COVID shots, but pays to vaccinate cows Source link Tennessee won’t incentivize COVID shots, but pays to vaccinate cows

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