Knox County Mayor Defies Biden

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Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs told the Todd Starnes Show he won’t back down from defying President Biden’s vaccine mandate because it’s “anti-freedom” and unconstitutional.

The mayor, a former pro wrestler known as “Kane,” sent a letter earlier this month to Biden stating “you can rest assured that we will stand against your blatant and egregious executive overreach.”

By going around Congress, Jacobs explained, Biden was acting like a king.

“That’s extremely un-American,” he told host Todd Starnes. “And yes, perhaps the most important part was, though, when the president said that ‘it’s not about freedom’ because in America it always is about freedom.”

The mayor pointed out Tennessee passed a law banning government entities from enforcing vaccine mandates. He said the courts will decide if Biden’s mandate ever goes into effect.

“Do whatever you do in your own life that you want to do,” Jacobs said about the virus. “Just don’t force these decisions onto other people. And, you know, don’t say that government has more power over an individual to make decisions about their health care than the individual does.”

Starnes applauded his defiance: “Good for you, Mr. mayor. We support you and we salute you on this radio program.”


Below is a rushed transcript from Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ interview on the Todd Starnes Show Tuesday:

STARNES: Well the mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, a guy by the name of Glenn Jacobs, has written a letter to President Biden on official county letterhead saying very respectfully that there is no way they’re going to comply with these mandates. And I want to read a line here from this incredible letter from Mayor Jacobs. I am appalled by your statement. This is not about freedom or personal choice. On the contrary, in America, it is always, always about freedom. Well, on the Patriot mobile newsmaker line is the mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, Glenn Jacobs. Mr. Mayor, good to have you with us today.

JACOBS: Hey Todd, thank you very much for having me on.

STARNES: So I’m curious, Mayor, why is it that you felt compelled to write this letter to President Biden?

JACOBS: Well, I believe that what President Biden was doing with an executive order that circumvented Congress by going through an executive department, the Department of Labor, for something like this, which has massive ramifications for tens of millions of Americans. This is not just like saying, you know, hey, the ladder can only be so tall without some sort of buttress or something like that. You know, with OSHA. This is literally controlling people’s lives and it required congressional action. And I still would have been against it because it’s anti-freedom. But nevertheless, if it had gone through Congress, that would have been one thing. And as a local official, I feel that when you look at the Constitution and the 10th Amendment says the powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states or the people, respectively. Well, public health has always been considered a state and or local issue. And of course, now the president is circumventing the 10th Amendment, too, by going through an executive department. So when the president can do that and when all of the powers of government as far as the legislature and the executive are combined into one, we don’t have a president anymore. We have a king. And that’s extremely un-American. And yes, perhaps the most important part was, though, when the president said that it’s not about freedom, because in America it always is about freedom.

STARNES: And, of course, that, you know, Mr. Mayor, this is about this impacts every business with 100 or more employees. They’re required to get vaccines. Also, this is where, you know, it gets fuzzy. And I’m curious to get your take on this. It also covers all sporting events and entertainment venues. And, of course, you have probably one of the largest in the state there on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Are people required to show vaccine papers or be vaccinated to get into the football games?

JACOBS: So that’s going to be a really interesting question, because this is another thing that the president did not address in his order is the fact that Tennessee state law prohibits governmental entities from mandating vaccines for covid-19. So now we have an executive order running contrary to state law. So at this point, no, that’s actually illegal under Tennessee state law. But we’ll see inevitably what the courts say if this order ever even comes through. Now, you know, who knows whether that’s going to happen? But at this point, no.

STARNES: I’m not going to name names, but I know that there is a big concert. Grace, who was doing the concert in Nashville over the weekend that we had a mutual friend go to and in Nashville. Oh, I it was that Dave Matthews. I don’t know who it was, Kyle who was it.

KYLE: I went to Dave Matthews this weekend.

STARNES: All right. Well, I heard rumblings. I heard rumors that there were people who went to the concert, Mr. Mayor, and they were using the fake vaccine cards to get in. Isn’t that brilliant?

JACOBS: Well, yeah. And of course, just like with taxes, what government doesn’t realize is that people will avoid certain regulations. And the taxes, of course, try to do things that are going to lower tax burden. And with this, people are going to figure out ways to get around it. So we’re going to have a gray or a black market pop up with vaccine certifications and certificates. So, you know, the government is really bad about thinking about the unintended consequences of what they do. They think I can throw down a law and everybody’s going to comply with it. And that’s not always the way it works.

STARNES: I mean, you guys are, what, the third largest metro area and the state of Tennessee. So we’re talking about a lot of business, a lot of people. What are folks doing there in Knoxville? Are you guys living your lives, getting back to normal?

JACOBS: Yeah, people are mainly doing that. You know, unfortunately, we’ve seen a surge of covid-19 cases and hospitalizations just like the rest of the southeast. Our hospital system is pretty strained. They’re working very hard. But when you look out in public, you know, here, it’s a little different than it is that you mentioned New York and California. It’s a lot different here than it is there. And you still have people wearing masks and, you know, doing those things. And that’s that’s fine. More power to you. You know, do whatever you do in your own life that you want to do. Just don’t force these decisions onto other people. And, you know, don’t say that government has more power over an individual to make decisions about their health care than the individual does. And that’s how we try to do things here.

STARNES: I know you sent this letter back September 16th. Have you heard from the White House? Have they received your letter?

JACOBS: No, they have not responded back to it. I sent a physical hard copy as well as to the email address that is appropriate for those sort of things. I haven’t heard back.

STARNES: All right. Well, wow. Well, good for you, sir. And I know that the good citizens, the patriots there in Knox County, appreciate you defending them and standing up for freedom and liberty.

JACOBS: Well, I appreciate it, Todd. Have a great day. Thank you.

STARNES: And you, too, as well. That’s Mayor Glenn Jacobs and Knox County, Tennessee, home of the University of Tennessee Volunteers. And they decided, you know what, we don’t really care what the president of the United States says. We are not going to infringe on the liberty of our citizens. And I say good for you, Mr. Mayor. And we need more people like that in major metropolitan areas. I think, by and large, smaller towns, communities, medium-sized cities that are run by Republicans. You guys are living your lives. You’re not going to be beholden to what Washington, D.C. is telling you. So good for you, Mr. Mayor. And we support you and we salute you on this radio program.

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