One barbecue restaurant says Nashville Mayor John Cooper does not have a leg to stand on when it comes to his “manipulation and suppression” of low COVID-19 case numbers in bars and restaurants and his 34-37 percent tax increase.
Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker, located in the Gulch, posted on Facebook Saturday that he would not retract a public letter to Nashvillians he had written which referenced a story by Dennis Ferrier. Peg Leg Porker’s Facebook page, with both letters, is here.
His Thursday letter, which was a call to action and statement of unity, included this statement:
Today, we learned that our Mayor and his advisors have manipulated and suppressed vital health information that would open our city back up for business. I would like to say that I am shocked but I am not. They have kept businesses closed needlessly and have put many people, who could least afford it, out of work. We have gone from “flatten the curve” to “we will never be safe without a vaccine”. The fact of the matter is that Metro has green lighted all of the metrics that we need to re-open and that were laid out by the health department with the exception of the flawed “available hospital beds” metric which we may never meet. We should be fully open for business as our neighboring counties have done. Today, the Mayor announced, Phase 3 on October 1st. Wow, I didn’t know that he could see two weeks into the future. Can he see how many businesses will close between now and then? As Governor Lee pointed out today, Nashville’s recovery is going slower at this point than any in the US.
Bringle asked citizens to keep contacting the mayor and Metro Council to demand they balance the budget and practice better financial stewardship. He linked to a webpage here promoting small businesses.
On Monday, The Tennessee Star reported that there was no credible evidence for Cooper having closed bars and restaurants. Ferrier of Fox 17 News, broke the story that Cooper’s administration had covered up the fact that less than two dozen cases of COVID-19 could be traced to those establishments. Cooper failed to disclose that the “record” of bar and restaurant traceable cases to which he referred to was about one tenth of one percent of Davidson County’s 20,000 cases of COVID-19.
On Saturday, Bringle posted a letter a three-page letter in response to people asking if he would retract his previous letter since the administration of Fox 17 News apologized for Ferrier’s story. He said he would not retract his letter.
My letter was about unity, accountability and transparency. It was not based on one particular story but a series of events that have transpired over the last few months. It was not partisan, it was a plea for all Nashvillians to work together to make our city a better place. As we work to do that, we absolutely need to hold the Mayor’s office and the City Council accountable for their actions.
Bringle also pointed out how restaurants and bars accounted for less than 1 percent of virus cases, based on Ferrier’s story. He also pointed out how construction sites and nursing homes had most of the cases but were not closed.
He also said he was invited by the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. to be in a hospitality task force, which was then allegedly ignored by Cooper when he enacted a 10 p.m. curfew without telling the task force.
Last week was not the first time Bringle raised alarms about Cooper’s handling of the coronavirus.
Bringle called in on the newsmakers line on a May 1 episode of The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. The transcript is here. He spoke about a letter he wrote Cooper describing his disappointment in the property tax increase and the violation of his constitutional rights.
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