NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Silence from the top is continuing as the Delta variant and infections in children are continuing to spread. The rise in cases and deaths now prompting pastors and doctors to speak out.

Governor Bill Lee for the second day in a row avoided questions regarding COVID-19 and the deaths of children. Now Tennessee’s Health Commissioner is taking the same approach.

News 2 asked, “Commissioner are you sure you don’t want to say anything about the deaths of children in Tennessee?”

“I don’t have any comment right now, I’m happy to give you an interview,” Dr. Lisa Piercey said.

However, the Tennessee Department of Health and Dr. Piercey has repeatedly declined a request for interviews.

News 2 asked, “There are concerns about hospitalizations, there are concerns about beds running out, hospitals are adding additional units — you cannot explain to the people of Tennessee what’s going on as far as health in this state?”

“I have nothing to say,” Piercey said.

Commissioner Piercey continued to refuse to answer questions some Tennessee parents are asking.

News 2 asked, “Do you think school districts are right to require masks, or should it be a choice for each individual family to make?”

“Children are being sickened by COVID-19 at a rapid pace, children now make up 20 percent of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States compared to just 2 percent a year ago,” Dr. Michelle Fiscus said.

Dr. Fiscus, the ousted vaccine chief for Tennessee joined faith leaders to push the governor and health leaders to do more.

Rev. Brandon Berg, Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Bristol, Tennessee said, “We’re calling on school boards across the state to protect the most vulnerable among us the unvaccinated.”

There’s not an approved vaccine for children under 12 to decrease or prevent COVID-19 infections yet.