We can all agree we live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. After traveling around the world, living in Japan, Australia, England, I knew back in ’98 that Northeast Tennessee was the place for me. Haven’t thought at all about regretting it until the pandemic hit.
We not only live in the most beautiful place but also a place that has many resources, including a competent health department. Dr. May at the Sullivan County Regional Health Department has provided our community with access to more-than-needed testing and vaccines. We have excellent health care advice including Drs. Ko and Glazier in the (Ask the Doctors column in) the Bristol Herald Courier answering questions and keeping us involved in our own COVID-19 decisions. But where are our elected officials?
With vaccinations hovering at around 30% of Sullivan County and mass vaccination events showing little public interest, where are our elected officials to garner the necessary public support for mass vaccinations in our community? Our state representatives: Jon Lundberg, Scotty Campbell and John Crawford, as well as our national representatives Marsha Blackburn and Diana Harshbarger must dismiss partisan “tomfoolery” and become vocally and visually involved in supporting the efforts of our Regional Health Department to vaccinate ALL Northeast Tennessee residents.
Leadership means having discussions with all constituents to better the community. Our community will be better if we take advantage of the resources afforded living here in Northeast Tennessee. Our elected officials have to play a role in moving us to the 70-80% vaccination “herd immunity” goal; otherwise we’re just stuck in 2020 for another year or more!