Approximately 200 individuals gathered in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on Monday to protest a mask mandate implemented by Knox County Schools and other broad regulations.
Numerous individuals called for state lawmakers to hold a special legislative session to prevent masking or vaccines to be required, according to WVLT News.
While many state legislators have voiced concern for the move, some state leaders have remained hesitant to commit to the measure.
“While Lt. Governor McNally is firmly against government vaccine passports, he is extremely reticent to place restrictions on private business,” said a spokesman for Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), via email.
“Religious and medical exceptions to mandates are very common and Lt. Governor McNally believes those kind of exceptions should be available in most cases. At this time, Lt. Governor McNally does not believe a special session is necessary but will work with Speaker Sexton and Governor Lee if one is called.”
Additionally, multiple demonstrations, like the one in Oak Ridge, have been held with the goal of new laws to push back on COVID restrictions.
Hundreds of residents rallied at Beth Harwell Plaza near the state capitol to express their desire for Lieutenant Governor McNally to allow a special legislative session so the state can fight back.
“These are violations of their personal liberty and personal medical decisions. A special session is urgent because the majority of Tennesseans are looking to us to protect their liberty,” said State Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma) at the rally.
“We have reached the point in escalation where the federal government is targeting the great state of Tennessee,” added State Representative Scott Cepicky (R-Culleoka). “They are rationing our Monoclonal antibodies that can save Tennesseans. They are telling you what you have to do to your body. It’s time to say enough.”
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