Even more emails are coming that reveal how Nashville Mayor John Cooper and members of his staff mishandled the COVID-19 emergency, Metro Council Member At-Large Steve Glover told The Tennessee Star Wednesday.
This, on the same week that the Nashville-based FOX 17 published emails showing that Cooper’s staff downplayed the number of COVID-19 cases coming from the city’s bars and restaurants. Cooper later ordered those bars and restaurants closed.
“Candidly, Cooper’s level of transparency on this will get an F from me. They pretend like there was [transparency]. But there really wasn’t,” Glover said.
“There are more emails coming.”
Glover, when asked, would not share more details.
Members of Cooper’s staff did not return our request for comment.
This week FOX 17 showed how Cooper’s senior advisor Benjamin Eagles, preceding a July 2 press conference, wanted public officials to suppress the correct number of COVID-19 cases originating out of bars and restaurants.
“Remember, this was an important press conference: the mayor was about to shut down bars and move restaurants back to 50 percent capacity. At the time, there were only three cases traced to restaurants and just 19 traced back to bars. The health department says it also knew of six other cases that had not been officially recorded,” the station reported.
“So, a total of 28 cases traced back to bars and restaurants since March – less than 1 percent of all the contact-traced cases in Nashville. So how would the city tell Nashville citizens it was closing bars and heavily restricting restaurants based on such few cases? New emails show the Mayor’s Office carefully chose the wording for the July 2 press conference in an attempt to leave out the low number of cases in bars and restaurants because they were worried the public wouldn’t understand the severity of the situation.”
Glover told The Star that Nashville needs to open back up completely.
“Multiple people are now panicking because they are going to lose their places to live because they simply can’t make the living they were making. You literally have 25 percent of the workday for these establishments that these bands and waitresses and bartenders are basically not able to work,” Glover said.
“Therefore you are trying to pay 100 percent of your bills on 75 percent of your time capacity. It is not working. It is my sincerest hopes that we open everything up and realize that people need to be safe. We know a lot more about it [COVID-19] than we used to. It breaks my heart. Literally these folks are just trying to make a living and pay their bills.”
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