Full interview: U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Manny Sethi on COVID-19 response, upcoming election

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(WJHL)- Thursday marked four weeks until Tennessee’s August primary election.

On the ballot, the Republican seat for U.S. Senate.

Right now, the two front runners are Bill Hagerty and Dr. Manny Sethi.

You can watch Kaylyn Kluck’s full interview with Dr. Sethi in the video above and see her story from News Channel 11 at 6 o’clock below:

“I feel like someone needs to speak truth to this mob, that’s burning and rioting and looting in the streets of America,” said Sethi.

This is what the doctor says he would do ‘day one’ if elected as a U.S. Senator.

“Especially up here in Northeast Tennessee, they’re just sick and tired of this. Look, America is the greatest country in the history of the planet,” he said.

The trauma surgeon says as the son of immigrants, he’s a testament to this.

“They had thick Indian accents,” Sethi said of his parents. “Nobody looked like us, nobody talked like us. But no one ever made you feel it.”

In a time of division over issues of racial inequality, Sethi is urging American unity.

“Let’s focus on that to bring us through some of these challenging times, of our economy that’s in the tank, of this pandemic,” he said.

The U.S. Senate candidate believes too many PPE supplies and medications come from China. He’s pushing to bring this manufacturing back to rural areas of the United States.

“Let’s invest in these economic opportunity zones and make those factories right up here in Northeast Tennessee. We can make those gowns, those gloves, those masks, those medications. We could bring people jobs. We could do incredible things in Tennessee,” said Sethi.

But to help this happen, Sethi is going to have to pull ahead of primary competitor Bill Hagerty – who has President Trump’s endorsement. Sethi has also thrown his support behind the president, especially during the pandemic.

“The president, I think has navigated this the best that anybody could,” Sethi said.

With a month to go until the primary, Sethi believes the polls show promise.

“We have polling data that showed us up more than 10 points in the Tri-Cities,” he said.

Both Hagerty and Sethi’s campaigns have conducted their own statewide polls, which show very different results.

Hagerty’s campaign released numbers from a Tarrance Group survey that show him with a lead of 17 percent over Dr. Sethi.

A poll released by Sethi’s campaign shows a much closer race, with Hagerty only ahead by two points at 33 percent to 31 percent.

News Channel 11 spoke with Hagerty earlier this week. His interview can be viewed here.

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