Former Tennessee National Guard General Winstead Aligns with Gov. Lee’s Inaction on COVID-19 Mandate Soldier Firings

Tennessee 5th Congressional District candidate and former Tennessee National Guard General Kurt Winstead aligned with Governor Bill Lee’s inaction and disinformation on the guardsmen firings due to their refusal to accept the COVID-19 vaccine shot Thursday.

“I believe that the governor is working behind the scenes, doing everything in his power to help the Tennessee National Guard – no question in my mind,” said Winstead In an interview conducted by Matt Murphy on SuperTalk 99.7 fm WTN.

Winstead defended Lee’s inaction, insisting that there was nothing the governor can do to help the guardsmen, and that only the federal government can take action.

Winstead asserted, “The thing about it is – I explained earlier – this is a federal decision. It’s controlled by the federal government through the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense is responsible for the training and preparation of all soldiers, whether they be active or reservists or National Guard. That is part of this mandated vaccine program. I disagree with the mandate the federal government [unintelligible].”

“They have the purse strings, Matt. The federal government pays, through the National Guard, all the National Guardsmen, all the reservists, all the active Army are paid through the federal government. The purse strings are owned by the federal government. That’s why this is a difficult situation. It’s not a decision that the governor can make,” Winstead added.

However, as the commander in chief of the Tennessee Army National Guard the governor does have the authority to act in support of those soldiers who have refused the COVID-19 vaccine, if he chose to.

One National Guard member who heard the interview told The Tennessee Star, “What a crock of [expletive]! Winstead knows better. Winstead knows that Governor Lee can ask the AG Slatery to sue the federal government. He also knows better than most that Lee is the commander-in-chief of the Tennessee National Guard. He knows that Governor Lee has several options he can pursue. If the former general cared about the soldiers instead of trying to get yet another government salary, he’d have said so.”

Another guardsman told The Star, “The former General has abandoned the men and women he served with. He couldn’t even be bothered to show up in support of the guardsmen who are losing their jobs at the event on Wednesday. He’s probably cozying up to Governor Lee in the hopes of an endorsement for his campaign. It is just sad. Winstead is an abject disappointment.”

“It’s so frustrating that he refused to even explain that just because the FUNDS come from the federal government, the state has the CONTROL over those funds. Winstead KNOWS that under Title 32, the state maintains control and the Governor is the Commander-in-Chief,” the guardsman added.

Murphy had asked Winstead to comment on Governor Lee’s inaction, saying, “It’s impossible not to notice the level of silence that’s coming out of his [Governor Lee’s] office. I mean, do you feel like he’s working behind the scenes? Do you get any sense that he’s ready to take a position on this at this late stage?”

The Star previously reported that The Star reached out to Winstead’s campaign for comment because of his status as a retired brigadier general in the Tennessee National Guard. Winstead’s campaign team gave a tepid response to The Star’s outreach.

Winstead stated opposition to the dismissal, but neglected to call for any action in support of the Guard members’ jobs.

“General Winstead retired in February 2021 prior to the vaccines being mandatory for military members. He opposes the dismissal of military members due to COVID-19 vaccine refusal. The COVID-19 vaccine for military members was a federal decision by the Biden administration and as a member of Congress, General Winstead will fight President Biden on any burdensome, unnecessary COVID-19 restrictions,” the campaign said at the time.

– – –

Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTRTwitterTruth Social, and Parler.
Photo “Kurt Winstead and Bill Lee” by Kurt Winstead. 



Related posts

18 Thoughts to “Former Tennessee National Guard General Winstead Aligns with Gov. Lee’s Inaction on COVID-19 Mandate Soldier Firings”

  1. Chi22y

    The TN National Guard needs to listen to the last minute of this video!

  2. Chi22y

    I think he is talking about Winstad.

  3. Joe P

    Hmmmmm what is Florida doing…. Funny how they are NOT firing any of their national guardsman…….


    Haven’t been overly impressed with the capabilities of the current and past crop of american generals….. although they did a nice job building up the military for the Taliban, and that amazing air base on Chinas eastern flank….. currently in use by ……. China !!

  4. Karen L Bracken

    What they are doing is setting up these people to be murdered or disabled. Lee will have their blood on his hands. Lee must not be elected for 4 more years. WAKE UP Tennessee. Lee is so misinformed about this dangerous, deadly bio-weapon that he doesn’t deserve to be even elected dog catcher.

  5. Laurie Kelly

    Winstead is a company guy. He will follow (establishment) orders. TN05 needs a person of the people, who will not go along to get along.

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      Right you are Laurie that’s why I sent a significant contribution to Andy because he would have been that kind of person. The only problem is he reluctantly got into this race right before filing deadline, he didn’t raise money like the other serious campaigns and now he has decided not to campaign. HE WON’T WIN. Beth Harwell is as good as we can get this time around of it will be Congressman Weathervane (TN-5th).

  6. paulJ

    As a pureblood who is strongly against the vaccine and someone who is certainly no fan of Winstead, I’m still a bit confused as to what the ultimate request is here? Is it for Lee to call a special sesssion or issue an executive order for the state of Tennessee to pay the wages of these National Guard members? Just trying to find the end game here.

    1. Cannon

      They are calling for the Attorney General to file suit and get an injuntion, similar to the suit last December on behalf of federal emplyees, federal contractors, and employers with more than 100 employees. SCOTUS upheld the injunction and it is still in effect.

    2. Joe P

      I be happy if Lee just said….. “ i wonder what desantis is doing”….??

  7. mikey whipwreck

    Ogles 2022

    1. paulJ

      I’m 100% with Ogles. I think he will be a Thomas Massie like conservative.

      I’m just genuinely curious what the request is here on the National Guard issue. I believe it is for the state to pay the National Guard members salaries? But from the articles I’ve read, I’m not clear on that.

      1. Stuart I. Anderson

        No Paul, he will be like my friend Van Hilleary back in 2006. With my financial aid and my vote Van Hilleary got just enough conservative votes so Ed Bryant couldn’t win and we were stuck with Bob Corker (Heritage-63%) for twelve years. Now with my financial aid Andy Ogles seems poised to take enough conservative votes away from Beth Harwell so we will be stuck with General Weathervane. But by gosh it won’t be with my vote this time!

  8. Mary

    Don’t trust Winstead. He seems creepy.

  9. LM

    Yet another excellent reason to vote for Andy Ogles.

    1. Stuart I. Anderson

      Have you seen any evidence that he is running LM other than if you were fortunate enough to be one of a hundred or so people participating in a straw poll? At the present rate he doesn’t have a prayer. The only thing he can do is take enough votes away from Beth Harwell (ACU-86%) so we are stuck with General Weathervane.

  10. Randy

    Once again, there is a reason we call them Zero. The very idea that this was forced on the world as a result of the deliberate illegal research concocted by madman Fauci is reason enough not to vaccinate the people that may one day be one of our last lines of defense against the tyranny they crave.

  11. Stuart I. Anderson

    Expecting centrist/tepid conservative Republicans to take a firm stand against government power in support of individual liberty is to doom oneself to a life of disappointment and frustration. It is fortunate that this matter, right in General Weathervane’s wheelhouse, has arisen because it gives voters in the 5th District coming attractions of what we can expect if we allow this former Democrat/No Record Candidate to buy himself the 5th District’s seat in Congress.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Stuart – I would hardly call Lee a centrist. He is MIA or wrong on the majority of individual rights policies – unless one is a “refugee” or an illegal.