Dear Editor:

Every week State Sen. Joey Hensley is given about half the editorial page for a “Senate Update.” According to the free independent, reader-supported “Tennessee Holler” ( which informs & educates Tennesseans, “TN GOP Sen. Joey Hensley has introduced a bill to ban businesses from requiring masks” be worn in order to receive services and goods. The measure (Bill 320), would also forbid local governments from ordering the wearing of masks. At the same time, Sen. Hensley has a sign on his door at the Senate asking, “Please wear a mask” in his office.

This week the other half of the Editorial page has a commentary by staffer Mark Mize insisting that “Vaccine Distribution Must Improve.” The Biden administration has spent the entire week and a half in office working on exactly that — working to defeat COVID-19. Considering the total indifference to saving American lives during the past year when another person was president, it seems wrong for Mr. Mize to lay the entire blame for production of the vaccine on the Biden administration.*

Leaving one’s safe house to do essential shopping can be hazardous. We’ve had to quit going to our favorite local grocery store because no one, neither staff nor customers, wears a mask. We have found that Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s mask mandates have resulted in almost everyone wearing a mask. We have found it safer to shop in Alabama.

To make any headway against this increasingly contagious disease, we must do better ourselves. It’s an interesting thought experiment to micromanage what our leaders in Washington should do to get more vaccines available. It would be more helpful to encourage local citizens to get serious about wearing masks, social distancing and limiting trips to stores that have safe practices. Giles County currently has 3,425 total cases and 174 active cases of COVID-19, 81 deaths. Tennessee goes back and forth as having the largest number of COVID-19 related deaths per capita in the nation. Our governor has done very little to regulate the spread of the disease. A recently passed bill in the U.S. House of Representatives will provide funds for states for the distribution and administration of vaccines as well as other important help. It shouldn’t be an uphill battle to get this assistance passed, but it will.

New strains of the disease are popping up in Tennessee and the U.S. It is recommended if one has to leave home, wear a mask on top of your mask.

K. Witt

2848 Dog Branch Road, Prospect, TN 38477

Editor’s Note: The commentary in question “blames” no one for the current state of the vaccine rollout — nor was that the intent — but instead points out that the plan moving forward is insufficient. It also encouraged personal responsibility, i.e. mask-wearing and social distancing.

(1) comment


Thanks for trying. I really enjoyed your article. I completely agree.

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