Board of Health Meeting 9/23/2020 – The Board Confronts Mayor Jacobs

All members were present. David Sanders joined the meeting on behalf of the Knox County Law Department. The meeting was intended to begin with a phoned-in statement from County Commissioner Larsen Jay. He had to cancel, but expressed his support of the work done by the board.

Dr. Buchanan presented the current COVID-19 numbers for the county, including the benchmarks. The benchmark for new cases was shifted to yellow from last week’s red. The others remained unchanged: Yellow for testing, hospital capacity and deaths and green for public health capacity. She said the average for daily cases is 116, and is trending downward.

Knox County and District Cases by Week and Month

Weekly Knox County New Cases by Age

Nine people have died in the last two weeks. An average of 562 cases per day have been done over the last two weeks. Current positivity rate is 8.2%, down from about 12% last week. She expressed concern that people are avoiding testing in order to avoid quarantine.

Dr. Shamiyeh presented his hospital data. Most of the charts shown here are his. He said his calculations of positive test rates was over 10% and that they’ve seen a big drop in testing in the younger age group, not due to any barriers to testing. Dr. Buchanan and Charity Menefee said they are being told by parents that people are not getting their students tested in order to avoid quarantine or isolation.

Dr. Gregg from UT echoed the concern with the reduction in testing. They believe numbers of confirmed cases will increase as they begin systematic testing. He discussed the research being conducted jointly with the University of Kentucky (also covered in the previous article). Dr. Buchanan suggested that perhaps the Health Department could contribute patients to the study in order to include more age groups.

Comparison of Trends in the 4 Metro Areas (Scales are Different in Each – this is simply to compare trends)

Knox County and District Hospitalizations by Week and Month

Dr. Shamiyeh said that based on everything he understands about the disease, there is nothing to explain the sharp decline in cases reported by UT other than simply a sharp reduction in testing. Dr. Gregg agreed. He said tests given in the Student Health Center have declined from 50 – 60 per day to as low as 1 test per day. He said the required pooled testing will allow them to target specific groups who need to be tested further.

Ms. Wagoner presented the school data. The number of active cases reported this afternoon reflected an increase from 44 to 58. Isolation/Quarantine also increased by more than 100. Dr. Buchanan noted that with school in session, each case has more contacts than others, and so one case produces a much larger number of quarantines. It was pointed out that distance matters most, and if they are within six feet for fifteen minutes – even wearing a mask – they are considered a close contact.

Reasons to have Trigger Points Based on Metrics

Dr. Shamiyeh presented possible metrics, calling it a “first attempt.” He noted that West Virginia, a Republican led state, has used some of these metrics by county even down to using them to stop or allow high school sports and other activities. He said it was presented for further thought.  5 – 10 per 100,000 is considered community spread, 10 – 25 is wide spread. Consistently above 25 per 100,000 is a point to consider a lockdown.

High volumes of testing make the data more reliable. Low testing volume leaves the community susceptible to a severe surge. Below 1000 tests a day in Knox County is too low to truly know the amount of the disease present. Over 10% positivity rate is when the White House suggests lockdowns.

What should be considered involving new cases.

Knox County New Cases With Cutoffs

Dr. Souza noted that any beginning availability of a vaccine could also shift the conversation.

Dr. Gotcher asked for one of the doctors to explain herd community. Dr. Buchanan said herd immunity comes when enough a percentage of a population has been vaccinated or has had the illness and can’t pass it on. We don’t know the latter, so vaccines are how we will have to achieve herd immunity. Dr. Shamiyeh said 60% to 70% of a populations is the cut off. Dr. Hurt mentioned Sweden and said originally they were hoping for herd immunity, but only 7% got the illness. Dr. Souza said today the CDC said at most 10% of the U.S. population has had the illness.

Reasons to Include Testing Volume

Knox County Testing Volume Over Time With Recommended Levels

Regarding facemasks, Dr. Buchanan said complaints remain stable and no business or individual has been cited. Dr. Souza pointed out a survey conducted by UT across the state at intervals showing most people trust the CDC or the local health department for information on masks. 75% support mask mandates in their most recent survey.

Under new business (at 1:50, if you want to go directly to it and see the video in question made by Mayor Jacobs), Dr. Hurt spoke:

Last week at the end of our meeting, Mayor Jacobs signed off by telling us that he felt for the Board of Health members, that we didn’t ask to be put in the position we are in terms of the spotlight that we are. I genuinely and sincerely thanked him. Frankly, that’s why I was outraged to see the Freedom Forward video that he released, literally, the very next day. I believe it is inappropriate. It’s dangerous.

It only reinforces the emails, mail and phone calls that we on the Board of Health get every day, and I’m quoting “Our Science is a lie,” we’re “just trying to put deep fear into the community,” we “destroy people’s lives,” we’re responsible for “skyrocketing overdoses, suicides” and being told that the “battle is going to continue.”

. . . My grown children begged me to start using an alarm system. My neighbors, both Republicans and Democrats patrol my neighborhood to make sure people aren’t harassing us. I’ll let everyone else draw their own conclusions.

Reasons to Include Positive Test Rate

Knox County Postive COVID-19 Test result Rates Over Time (Daily)

With that, she cued the video. Mayor Jacob’s voice narrated over images ranging from Joe Biden and Donald Trump, to burning cities and the Board of Health itself.

We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These words are the fire (unclear audio) mankind. They inspired a revolution. They launched a nation, nourished by the blood of patriots and built on a foundation of self-governance, freedom of choice, with liberty and justice for all.

Today, this foundation is, once again, under attack, not from some ominous enemy from abroad, but sinister forces within: Unelected bureaucrats (cue a picture of the Board of Health Zoom meeting) which pass down edicts carrying the force of law, with no accountability and no recourse. So called “experts” (cue a picture of Dr. Fauci) ordained by the media who weave a web of spin, misinformation and deceit. Violent mobs who lust to erect a socialist utopia on the ashes of the republic. And worst of all, an atmosphere of division, hatred and fear, conspiring to rob us of our birthright of freedom.

Thus far, the chaos engulfing the rest of the country has impacted us only marginally here in east Tennessee. Some of us are secure in the belief that it can’t happen here. But it can happen here. It will happen here if we don’t act and act, now. Now is the time for a movement. A movement that champions our God-given rights. A movement based, not on partisan politics, but on kindness, respect and compassion. A movement worthy of the high ideals of our founding.

For too long, good people have sat on the sidelines, forgetting the thing that makes America different, special, the thing that makes America great. Our freedom is only a generation away from extinction. Will this be the generation that stands up? The generation that joins up? That stands up? That shows up?

Or will it be the generation that gives up? The choice is ours. For now.

Silence followed the video until Dr. O’Brien spoke. He said it disturbed and hurt him. He said as a military officer, he felt threatened. He said the division has to stop. If others want to leave science behind, they will “reap what they sow.” Dr. Drake said she agreed. Dr. Gotcher said there has been a large outpouring of support from the public since last week. He said he is concerned about the ability to keep the board together and that he has been urged to leave the board for his own safety.

District Hospital Census With Possible Cutoffs For Different Responses

Mayor Jacobs said the intention was not to put anyone in harms way or to threaten anyone, but to get people to talk, speak out and show up at meetings. He said perhaps it didn’t come across as he intended and that the video was not supposed to be public. He said this board is looking at public health and his picture is bigger than public health.

He continued, that the country is setting a dangerous precedent by accepting government overreach. He said the metrics looked at tonight could take months to attain and people can’t do that. He said he apologizes if anyone felt threatened, but that wasn’t his intention. He said he can’t apologize for his perspective.

He reiterated that people on the board are doing their best and apologized for the harm it may have caused. Dr. Buchanan said her staff felt concern for their safety after seeing the video. Dr. Drake asked why they would be better if they were elected. He said they would not necessarily be better, but they would be accountable. He blamed the decision to move control from Dr. Buchannan to the board as the point when the confusion grew.

Dr. Hurt responded that they are held accountable by their solemn oaths and can have their licenses revoked if they do not work in the public’s best interest. She said she’d asked the National Board of Health and they had been unable to point her to a single local Board of Health anywhere in the country that is elected. She said aligning them as a force against the “good people” implies that there is a division and they are not on the side of the people. He said he understood that.

Dr. Gotcher asked Mr. Sanders if, given the fact that state statute granted authority to the board, the county commission could, in fact, take that authority away. He said the county cannot do anything that conflicts directly with state law, but until they take an action, it would be impossible to know if that is the case. Dr. Buchanan asked if a board member might want to have a representative present at next week’s county commission meeting and said Commissioner Jay had indicated he is open to that.

Dr. Souza said that might be a good idea, but she didn’t feel safe enough to go based on the images she saw from last week, with a large crowd of angry, unmasked people in the balcony. Dr. O’Brien said he would be willing to do so as he’s faced ISIS and this group doesn’t scare him. Mayor Jacobs said he would stand with Dr. O’Brien. Dr. Gotcher thanked everyone for their open comments.

Key Points from Dr. Shamiyeh’s Presentation

Dr. Shamiyeh addressed Mayor Jacobs comments regarding metrics. He said they were brought at the request of the mayor and others who have said they want to know when this ends. As for them taking so long to reach, the cut offs are those recommended by the White House Task Force, the CDC and others. He said if they don’t use fundamental medical principles this pandemic will land in a place they do not want.

He said he thinks vaccines may start in January and so the current situation isn’t without end. He said often science gets criticized because it is imperfect, but it is evolving through this crisis and it is still the fundamental basis from which they must make decisions. He said he lies awake at night thinking about all of it – the medical part, the economy, etc. He said it is intimidating to make these decisions even with the expertise to do so.

He said we all hope this doesn’t get worse, while others seem certain it will not. He said he doesn’t have that certainty. The process to address this has to be prepared with the possibility in mind that we may enter a more difficult phase. The lack of belief in science, he said, will be more of a concern if we hit a hard situation in the future.

Dr. Gotcher inserted a statement encouraging people to use hospitals as needed, noting a study this week saying transmission within the hospital is simply not happening.

With that, the meeting ended. The entire meeting, including Mayor Jacobs video is posted below.

Comments

  1. Mayor Jacobs has got to go. He should be ashamed of himself for that video, which is full of lies, hatred and fear mongering.

    • Jason Hubbard says

      Luckily, it’s not up to YOU solely to determine which officials must go and who gets to stay. People voted for this individual and he will be held accountable if the majority of people think he needs to go. If the majority of people think he’s done a good job, he will be re-elected if he chooses to run again.

      It’s so brave of you to get online under an anon name and trash someone and play armchair quarterback with every decision they make. Please just take a seat and let the big girls and boys running the show (making the hard decisions) who actually spend their time and effort into running the government do their job. Ya know, the actual decisions that impact peoples lives.

      We all enjoy reading your nice short posts (pretty much every time an article is dropped) about how “Mayor Jacobs has got to go. He’s a disgrace. He enjoys killing people in Knox County and is full of hatred and is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, etc, etc.” But like, isn’t there anything else you can contribute to the conversation? Other than hyperbole?

      These people have a hard job. They signed up for it. You’ve got to have a thick skin to work in the public eye. There is no easy solution and there will be P-O’d people on both sides.

      • Actually Mayor Jacobs can be recalled under section 8.05 of the County Charter. Once the petition to recall has been approved by the Knox County election commission, petitioners have ninety days to acquire the signatures of 10% of Knox County voters. At that point a special election must , by law , be held. If I was a betting man, I would bet there are people working on this process as we speak.

  2. The Knox County Board of Health took no issue enacting mandates that impede the liberties and livelihoods of community members.

    Now, in spite of a “large outpouring” of support from the public, these people feel “threatened” and “unsafe“ in light of people “angrily” protesting the board’s overreach?

    If you don’t have enough conviction in your vote to withstand dissent, especially after condoning protests for months only to now find the ire of citizens to be “threatening” when directed towards you and your actions, then perhaps you shouldn’t be in a position that enacts potentially-upsetting mandates.

    • That is complete and utter nonsense GBO203! The issue here is that there shouldn’t be any “dissent” from anyone. Does anybody really think the Board of Health takes pleasure in these mandates? No, it has already been difficult for them to stress the economy as they have, but the mandates were something that needed to be done. If not, Knox County would have had many more cases. The reason we have had so many cases is because people didn’t follow (and still don’t) the mandates and it was not enforced by law enforcement (which it is still not). This is not going to end for another year or more because people that don’t believe in science are flouting the mandate and spreading the disease. Now we have a bunch of college students that won’t get tested because they don’t want to be quarantined. UTK should have all the students tested so we get an accurate picture of what is really going on with students on campus. The backlash toward the board must stop and Mayor Jacobs needs to go. He’s been the problem since day one.

      • Only one additional point: it’s not just UTK students. As noted, it’s also primary and secondary school parents who are not having their children tested.

      • “Another year or more”

        Gonna have to disagree with you there bud. You can’t just spend all your time looking at the sky expecting it to fall, but overall I agree with you. While we should take heed of unelected officials making laws and regulations in most cases, I think public health is an exception. As much as the masks suck, there’s no logical way to tie them into some bigger conspiracy where we turn into China. There’s a whole chain of missing links in between masks and mass censorship. My

      • So you oppose dissention while openly griping about Mayor Jacobs? You’re free to vote against Jacobs in an effort to ensure that he “goes,” just as the rest of us are more than welcome to vocalize our opposition to unnecessary and unwanted mandated that restrict the liberty of all in a vain attempt to shelter the susceptible.

        • GB0203 let me break this down for you since you don’t seem to understand basic logic.

          So you oppose dissention while openly griping about Mayor Jacobs?

          I do not oppose dissention when it is based on facts and science.

          You’re free to vote against Jacobs in an effort to ensure that he “goes,”

          I will not vote for Jacobs and I hope he does not win or even run again as he has brought so much hatred and dissention to Knox County with his lack of education and lack of trust in science.

          just as the rest of us are more than welcome to vocalize our opposition to unnecessary and unwanted mandated that restrict the liberty of all in a vain attempt to shelter the susceptible.

          75% of Knox County residents want the mandate, which is in no was unwanted or uncessary except by those that don’t believe in science. This is not about protecting the “susceptible,” but about protecting everyone. Many people don’t know if they have an underlying condition. Now kids going back to school and young adults going to UTK are getting infected. Kids can now bring home the disease and infect their entire families, and maybe some of those families members have other risk factors or are going to go to work and pass the disease along to even more people. It’s neverending, almost like a pyramid scheme. The mandate was necessary. The mandate was wanted and is still wanted by many. I believe the mandate didn’t go far enough to begin with and I also believe there should have been no warnings, but that businesses should have been either fined or closed down for violations from day one. The lack of enforcement is the issue in Knox County. Other counties that have stronger mandates that were enforced are seeing far less new cases, while Knox County is the complete opposite. It’s time to get a reality check buddy.

          • Knox County’s hospitals are not overburdened and fewer than 1% of those who have contracted COVID-19 have perished from it; I am not overly concerned with case counts and do not particularly mind spikes (which would happen with no mandates, of course) provided they don’t lead to a significant increase in mortality rate (they wouldn’t).

            It’s not about a lack of belief in “science,” it’s about recognizing that COVID-19 proves to be quite insignificant for the vast majority of those who contract the disease and accordingly expecting those who are highly concerned/at-risk to alter their lives instead of requiring everyone else to make adjustments.

            Also, your “75% favor mandates” statistic is bunk… but, that will of course become incredibly apparent to you when Glenn Jacobs skates to reelection.

      • It’s my understanding sales tax revenue is running at 103% of last year. The Board of Health has saved the local economy by controlling the outbreak. The idea that Glenn Jacobs is putting forth about their negative effect is just another lie.

    • Glenn Jacobs is practicing what is called stochastic terrorism with this video and his appearances with other famed stochastic terrorists on their podcasts.

      It’s unsettling and dangerous. He should resign.

    • Sealion Harpooner says

      “The Knox County Board of Health took no issue enacting mandates that impede the liberties and livelihoods of community members.”

      Except the Governor dictated it in his plan (mostly to absolve himself and the State from responsibility over large urban centers) and the Supreme Court has ruled numerous times that boards of health can enact such mandates in the name of public health.

      “Now, in spite of a “large outpouring” of support from the public”

      A balcony-full vs. the 75% randomly polled in support.

      I’m writing a GBO203 posting algorithm:

      “This [insert scientifically-backed mandate] is an assault against my (liberty/livelihood/Abrahamic God/all of the above).”

      “Whenever the (board of health/Mayor Brainworm/random government entity) takes action, it is [constitutionally-sound/high treason/a sacrifice in the name of muh liberties).”

      “(It’s your personal responsibility/it’s never my personal responsibility) when [insert community spread event] occurs.”

      “[Screaming in libertarian screed.]”

      • So a “balcony-full” of dissenters has the Board of Health feeling threatened/unsafe? If 75% of the county truly supports these mandates, and I can assure you that isn’t the case, then I’m even more incredulous of the BoH’s claims and would question how well-suited they are for such a role.

        • Sealion Harpooner says

          Said nothing about the safety claims. Just pointing out that your “large-outpouring” could be contained in a clown car. But I’ll bite: how many people does it take for a “group of dissenters” to turn into “an angry mob?” Or is it more about the ideology behind them?

          Aren’t all mass shooters just “lone wolves?” And after all: no doctors or healthcare providers in this country have ever been harmed/maimed/killed for practicing medicine or providing constitutionally-protected advice.

          “Assure me” all you want, I’m waiting for your randomly selected sample size, your standard deviations, and your margin for error. The study that found 75% in support had all of these: http://core19.utk.edu/tn-pulse .

          Good news for you though, with your pro-business blinders on, Alan just posted a good number of prominent locals owners (with more to come) in full support of the board health and their tyrannous mandates. I’ll leave you to sort through the haze of cognitive dissonance this is creating for you.

  3. 2018 Knox County TN
    Births 5155
    Deaths 4775
    Source: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/vital-statistics/death/2018/TN%20Deaths%20-%202018.pdf

    Deaths “attributed” to CV19 in 2020 through 9/22: 76

    Thank you Mayor Jacobs for pointing to the elephant in the corner of the room.

    • Thank the vast majority of people in Knoxville who are wearing masks and keeping others safe. They are the ones who are keeping the death numbers down, not the mayor.

      • I agree that mask wearers are trying to protect both themselves and those they come in contact with. Those who refuse to follow simple precautionary mandates must feel that they need to have the “freedom to infect” others and no one can tell them otherwise. I am sorry Mayor Jacobs is one of those believers. This is a dangerous pandemic and if we ever want to get beyond it we each should take some responsibility to help stop it.

      • Sorry but any mask you can blow a lighter out with while wearing is doing nothing to protect you. It is just a placebo effect is all…… More than 90% of the masks being worn are totally worthless…. The truth is that “Wuhan virus” is not as deadly for the vast majority of the population as the fear mongerers are stating. Data mining and cherry picking are both very effective at fooling a populace.

  4. that video is unbelievably irresponsible!

  5. Jennifer Kerr says

    Thank you Mayor Jacobs for doing your job. He’s doing the job we elected him to perform. He does not have to answer to the Board of Health. He answers to God first and then our community. I find it hard to believe the Board has been threatened and fear for their lives. Why wasn’t this on the news? The board are not elected officials and they do not have the power to make laws and enforce them. I saw nothing threatening against the Board in his video. He doesn’t agree with them on certain issues so they try to trash him. We’re supposed to be adults. There are always consequences to our actions. The last time I checked we still have the right to either wear one or not. But there can be consequences to those decisions. If they’re gonna hide these alleged threats then they should have kept this off social media. This entire meeting should have been been kept quiet. The fact they didn’t just proves they’re trying to discredit him in the public eyes. Again, thank you on a job well done Mayor Jacobs!

    • So how much power do you want politicians to have exactly. Mayor Jacobs ran on getting the government out of the way. Now he is wanting to seize more power for the government.

      How about the Department of Transportation? They generally set the speed limits and set up the infrastructure that we use out on the roads in terms of “laws”. Should we now have to government sit and make every decision for every street in the state. They can vote on every small change. Maybe we could roll the Board of Education under complete elected government control. Then anytime we switch parties we can whip back and forth as to what is necessary for our kids.

      The reality is the government empowers all types of entities to under their control to set forth rules and guidelines that govern our daily lives. Putting everything under direct government control is very irresponsible. What I find even more bizarre is the people who want this the most are the people who want less government or identify as being libertarian. If you really wanted the government out of the way or wanted decisions based on merit and not politics then you would be more supportive of these entities.

      The fact is this has became political and those wanting to tear apart the board of health are doing so for a small gain now and no plan later. So from hear on out is Mayor Jacobs gonna set the health guidelines for all the restaurants? Do you think he is qualified to understand all the dangers with packaging an anaerobic bacteria? I don’t. Maybe we ought to leave that to people who have advanced knowledge of dangers.

    • Mike Baggetta says

      He answers to God first and THEN the community??? Who elected him?

    • It’s not his job to answer to God first though. Just the community. If what God wants and the community wants are the same, great. But he was elected to serve the community. Saying things like that makes him sound like Ted Cruz or Iran.

    • Jennifer Kerr, first of all, there is no God. That is a myth, as is the Bible. Did Mayor Jacob pick up the phone and call God or did he email him to answer to him? What does it matter if the board is elected or not? It makes no difference. How does being elected give you any more rights than a board that is authorized by the state to make an educated, scientific decision on what is best for Knox County? It doesn’t. Mayor Jacobs, who was elected is the root of all the lies and evil going on right now in the county and he was elected. There is not supposed to be a choice on whether you wear a mask or not. The mandate requires them, but the ridiculous loopholes allow people to not wear one while possibly infecting others. There is no valid reason, medical or otherwise, to not wear a mask. It doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights during a pandemic. If anyone refuses to wear a mask they should just stay home because they possibly spreading this disease either knowingly or unknowingly since around 40% of active cases have no symtoms or people think they have allergies or a common cold.

      • When you say “there is no God, God is a myth,” that’s disrespectful to a lot of people’s faith and doesn’t help the conversation at all. It can turn a lot of people’s ears off who would otherwise want to listen to you.

        Don’t get me wrong, it’s your first amendment right to believe that, but saying something like “I don’t believe in God” makes you sound like less of a jackass. This goes for people of all religions and/or those who are unaffiliated. Say what you believe or don’t believe all you want, but don’t knock other people for theirs.

        • I didn’t knock anybody. How did I disparage anyone by stating my beliefs? I’m entitled to my opinion when people start spewing their beliefs on here, I can do the same. It is however not disrespectful because I didn’t say anything about anybodies beliefs, but my own. Stating my beliefs doesn’t make me a “jackass,” but it sure makes you one for calling me out on it.

          • I already quoted your exact words, so I don’t know what else I can say. I led you to the water. I’ve done all I can do.

  6. I love Mayor Jacobs, thankful he isn’t afraid, we need more like him. This pandemic sucks, nothing more, nothing less. Pitting each other against others is what needs to go. Every human needs to stand up and be responsible. Mayor Jacobs will be getting my vote!

    • Anita, that is so funny since mayor Jacobs is doing the complete opposite. He is the one pitting a vocal minority against the facts of science. Not sure how you can vote for this fool.

  7. Mike Baggetta says

    I am very interested in the return of respect of science and medicine by the community at large as well as regulations defaulting to the safety of every human life through those channels. Two questions:
    1.) when is county mayor election?
    b.) if that video he made wasn’t meant for the public, then who was it made for?

  8. What goal could possibly justify harassment of volunteer medical and public health officials? No good end justifies these means.

    Glenn Jacobs and his enablers seem to think this is a game. The virus is not a game and neither is fomenting anger and possible violence against public servants, elected or not. Public health officials from all over the country have resigned because of similar harassment. I am guessing, though, that no other locality has an elected official on record narrating a video inciting the harassment.

    Inciting anger (and in this climate, possible violence) against public officials for political reasons when all they were doing was trying to protect people from a deadly virus – that should be grounds for losing your job. And trying to remove the minimal restrictions that we have is dereliction of duty, if you think your duty includes protecting the health of your citizens, not just the the profits of bar/ restaurant owners or your political future.

  9. I’m surprised to see that a comparison between Knox County and the other 3 metro TN areas isn’t commanding more of the discussion. Knox County did a fantastic job of keeping our numbers low at the beginning (better than the other metro areas). But recently, the other metro areas have had significant downturns while Knox County continues to climb. Shouldn’t it be obvious that what the other TN metro areas have achieved is possible here, too? Why aren’t we discussing learning from them?

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      The board discusses it every week. If that matters to us, we should probably let them know. The voices they are most hearing, right now, are not those of people who would want them to investigate and possibly emulate the others.

  10. The Dr. Buchanan and the Knox County Health Department should be fully transparent and report clusters.

    It was reported in this blog that when questioned at one of the daily press conferences she said that they were not reporting clusters.

  11. James Marshall says

    Mayor Jacobs has the right to have an opinion, but this video was completely irresponsible for a sitting mayor to be involved with. He is supposed to be representing all of us, not just the financial interests of the “Patriots”. This video would have been tasteless as a campaign video, but it is over the top for a sitting mayor. I am tired of seeing good people of scientific backgrounds being abused by people over their perceived rights. And now, people are avoiding testing to avoid quarantine. 210,000 dead and rising, and we get this kind of irresponsible behaviour from elected officials.

  12. My late dad, who was an engineering professor, a Goldwater Republican and had a mind like Spock’s, often said half of the population is below average by definition. I’d like to add the corollary that fully half of these half are two-year-old adults throwing tantrums over having to wear masks.

  13. Glen Jacobs is a pugilist who made his career hurting people, or at least pretending to hurt people. Now he wants to make a career as a politician hurting people. He has started that new hurtful career by producing a false and misleading video that suggests that the medical professionals who are volunteering their time and efforts to help their community are part of a violent group of “anarchists”. If this is what he thinks a politicians should do, he is wrong. He should resign in disgrace. He is a bully and a threat to the health and safety of Knox County.

  14. Alot of reading, but what an education. Wow. Anyway, thank you Alan for the incredible work you have done to keep us informed- enlightened.

  15. Allow me to translate Mayor Jacob’s video from the perspective of a black male: “White people, our rights are under siege by a liberal elite using their mobs of angry black people to cow us into obedience. We MUST fight back before our rights are permanently removed by socialists and their black and brown allies.”

    Absolutely disgusting propagandist screed, Mayor Jacobs. There might be those who are sick of this pandemic because they can’t go into a grocery store without a mask on or can’t go to a football game with their buddies. But you know what I’m sick of? Right-wing politicians using the images of black and brown people to insight anger and violence for their political agenda. And guess what? That’s been going on for WAY longer than this freaking pandemic. Just when I thought I couldn’t be anymore disgusted by the carpetbagging, horror movie actor running our county government, he does something else to remind me of why he MUST be voted out of office at the very first opportunity we have.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Mayor Kane, go back to pro-wrestling. At least there you can do the least amount of harm!

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