Nashville, Tennessee, is an amazing city. Musicians and music are everywhere. The nightlife is amazing. There is a large concentration of talent in one place, which makes for an amazing tourist attraction. However, Nashville is suffering because bars and restaurants have been shut down. Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that brings into question the motives behind that shutdown.
The article reports:
Leaked emails show Nashville’s Metro Health Department and the mayor’s office attempted to withhold information from the public that strongly suggested COVID-19 wasn’t spreading through the city’s bars and restaurants.
“They are fabricating information,” said city councilmember Steve Glover. “They’ve blown their entire credibility.”
“I don’t trust a thing they say going forward … nothing,” he added.
The emails between the mayor’s office and the health department discuss the low number of COVID-19 cases coming out of the city’s bars and restaurants and how to keep that information from going public.
The article continues:
Contract tracing in late June showed that construction sites and nursing homes were seeing the worst virus spread in the city, with more than 1,000 cases linked to each industry. Bars and restaurants, however, accounted for just 22 cases.
A month later, reporter Nate Rau asked the health department about rumors that only 80 virus cases originated from Nashville’s bars and restaurants.
“The figure you gave of ‘more than 80’ does lead to a natural question: If there have been over 20,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Davidson and only 80 or so are traced to restaurants and bars, doesn’t that mean restaurants and bars aren’t a very big problem?” Rau asked.
The article concludes:
Glover had a staff attorney reach out to the mayor’s office and the health department to verify the authenticity of the emails.
“I was able to get verification from the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Health that these emails are real,” the attorney said.
Glover said he has been contacted by many restaurant owners, bartenders, and staff asking why the city was trying to keep a lid on the numbers.
“We raised taxes 34% and put hundreds literally thousands of people out of work that are now worried about losing their homes, their apartments … and we did it on bogus data. That should be illegal,” Glover said.
The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.
This is a true ‘what were they thinking?’ moment. The coronavirus is real, and people need to take precautions to avoid getting it or spreading it. However, we now know that the people most in danger from the virus are the elderly and those with certain preexisting medical conditions. It is highly unlikely that a healthy person sitting in a restaurant is at risk. Why in the world did the Mayor choose to destroy the economy of the city while raising taxes by 34%? That is the question that needs to be asked and answered not only for Nashville, but also for a number of states.