House Passes Bill Prohibiting Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines; Hospital Employees and Health Care Students Can Still Be Forced


The House passed a bill prohibiting government-mandated vaccines for COVID-19 or any of its variants. As amended, the bill would also exempt PreK-12 students from  having to receive the vaccine in order to attend any schools or child care facilities. It would also strike the law that makes it a Class C misdemeanor for anyone who refuses to be vaccinated or refuses to vaccinate someone under their care.

Furthermore, this bill would prohibit state government and agencies from mandating a person undergo medical treatment if they object based on religious grounds or their right of conscience. However, the bill wouldn’t protect college or university students enrolled in programs or fields of study involving healthcare professions such as medicine, dentistry, or pharmacy.

State Representative Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) and State Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) sponsored the legislation.

During the final hearing on the House floor, Hulsey’s description of the amendments exempting certain individuals involved in health care from COVID-19 vaccine mandates implied that they were changes instigated by input from hospitals and higher education. His explanation prompted laughter.

“This bill says that state government, or local government, cannot force people to take the COVID-19 vaccine against their will,” explained Hulsey. “Now, the amendments say, ‘Well, yeah [the government] can, and here’s who they can do it to: 45 hospitals, and those employees in those 45 government-owned hospitals – they can be forced. And medical students in higher education, dental students, pharmacy students, and medical care students – they are also exempted out of this bill.'”

State Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet) pointed out that individuals can’t be forced to take vaccines that have been approved for experimental use only under federal law, or Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

“[Do these amendments] acknowledge that this is a vaccine that’s only been approved for experimental use, and that the federal government’s rules – their own rules – do state that no one, for any purpose, can be forced to take a vaccine that has been approved only for experimental use?”

Hulsey said that Lynn was correct, but that the amendments don’t address that issue. Rather, the amendments apply once the vaccine has been approved for standard use.

Debate over the legality of mandating EUA vaccines concerns language in federal law that grants individuals the option to accept or refuse these medical treatments.

State Representative Dwayne Thompson (D-Cordova) said that this bill gave the wrong message to Tennesseans, that it downplayed the impact of the pandemic.

Hulsey said that this bill prevents government from making public health the primary focus over constitutional rights.

“[R]ight now, the United States Constitution […] is the supreme law of the land, it’s the highest law,” defended Hulsey. “When you make public health the highest law, it sets aside the Constitution. Then it becomes all-inclusive, because it affects every area of your life and it’s unlimited. When that happens, and public health becomes the highest law, then the only competency left is in the state holding hands with the medical community.”

A similar argument was presented by State Representative Sabi “Doc” Kumar (R-Springfield). He argued that the bill could create negative attitudes toward vaccinations. He called the vaccine “God’s gift to science” and said people should honor that by not calling it “experimental treatment.”

Kumar still voted in favor of the bill.

“The bill doesn’t take up the efficacy of this vaccine at all – it has nothing to do with that. This bill just reinforces individual sovereignty over their own body,” explained Hulsey.

Kumar also said that he fears that this pandemic was the beginning of attempted biological warfare by foreign nations. Hulsey concurred.

State Representative Johnny Shaw (D-Bolivar) said that this bill was dangerous. He said that people should be forced to take vaccines, because unvaccinated people could cause other people to die.

Hulsey reiterated that the bill doesn’t handle the vaccine’s efficacy – it just preserves the right of people to choose medical treatments.

State Representative Bruce Griffey (R-Paris) said he was in favor of the bill because it protects individual liberty – but said that it might not go far enough to protect individuals from corporations.

The bill passed 72 to 19, largely along party lines. Only two Democrats are on the record voting for the bill: State Representatives London Lamar (D-Memphis) and John Mark Windle (D-Livingston).

On final hearing of the bill, State Representative Antonio Parkinson (D-Memphis) said that he would vote for the bill since it preserves individual’s choices over their bodies. He said that Democrats against the bill were being hypocritical, because they support the “my body, my choice” argument for abortion, but not for other medical treatments like vaccines. He added that many Black communities are fearful of the vaccine, and he said that the bill gives Black people an opportunity to say no to government.

Parkinson’s vote wasn’t recorded.

The Senate version of the bill passed out of committee at the end of last month, 8-1 with only Senator Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) voting against it. It now awaits scheduling by the Senate Calendar Committee.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].






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10 Thoughts to “House Passes Bill Prohibiting Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines; Hospital Employees and Health Care Students Can Still Be Forced”

  1. Billy white

    Y’all can’t read between the lines we all no that the vaccines have killed a lot of people why they trying to force us to do something that if you take it u still can get corona come on they trying to kill us slowly

  2. Karen Bracken

    People that believe vaccines protect them have nothing to fear from people who choose not to be vaccinated. Use some darn common sense. This “vaccine” is not even a vaccine and even the manufacturers call it “gene therapy.” It does not prevent people from getting or spreading the virus. So what is the purpose of forcing people to take a vaccine for a virus that has a 99.7% survivability rate?? There is an agenda pushing this and it is not about health. Anyone that takes an experimental drug and allows their body to be used as a lab rat needs to seek therapy. mRNA vaccines were deemed unsafe for humans years ago. They have never been able to put a vaccine for corona on the market because the lab animals died when exposed to the virus so this time they just bypass the animal studies and make humans the labs rats. I don’t need a bill to exercise my rights and I will NEVER take their vaccine. NEVER. Bill Gates and his buddies are not about saving lives. Quite the opposite. Gates and his buddies are eugenicists and believe we need to reduce the population by huge numbers. Between these vaccines, GMOs, his frankin foods, spraying poison into the atmosphere he is practicing the “soft kill.”

    1. Sherrie lane

      Well put! Thank you!

  3. Horatio Bunce

    “(Kumar) called the vaccine “God’s gift to science” and said people should honor that by not calling it “experimental treatment.”

    So, what children does Kumar think that God wanted murdered so we could use their body parts to make vaccine cell lines (or dogs or monkeys) to inject into our bodies?

    And Shaw…..what a lost cause. The only thing you vaxxers have to fear from the unvaccinated is that your still unapproved, still in experimental human trials, gene therapy masquerading as “vaccines” doesn’t actually work. Which it isn’t supposed to according to your medical “experts”. No immunity, won’t prevent infection, won’t prevent spread. It is useless just like your do-nothing masks. All risk and no reward.

    1. Karen Bracken

      Perhaps we should take a deep look at who funds Kumar’s campaigns. People are dying by large numbers from the vaccine and many are having extreme adverse reactions. One day this fake scamdemic will be exposed as the greatest crime against humanity and one can only hope those involved see their day in court and that justice is served.

  4. 83ragtop50

    A really bad move. More government control. Are these folks auditions for the federal Congress? Pretty soon they will TRY to tell me what food I can eat and at what time that I can eat it. If places try to force me to have a vaccine to do business with them I will simply go elsewhere. That is called personal choice and responsibility.

  5. David Blackwell RB, BSN

    I know a lot of clinicians that will just quit if they go forcing people to take vaccines. This will cause a healthcare crisis in that no one will be available to take care of the patient load. It will be time for the suits to put on scrubs and get in there and start changing diapers on grandma.

    1. Ron Welch

      That’s right, David. They’ll have to decide if they want healthcare institutions to impose authoritarian measures and slavery or have adequate staff to provide patient care and treatment.

  6. LM

    This is complete and utter madness by the biggest bunch of pompous idiots I’ve ever heard. When they try and force healthcare workers to get the COVID shots , this country will see the largest shortage of health care workers they have ever seen. Nobody in that article – NOBODY – had anything at all quoted that they said that was proven about the shot, and they are the ones deciding to try and force people to get them.

  7. Ron Welch

    Very good! In Article I, Section 7 of the State Constitution, basically the same as the 4th Amendment, the first right is to be “SECURE IN OUR PERSON”.