Knox County Not ‘Following the Science’ in Limiting Restaurant Business, UTK Law Professor Glenn Reynolds Says


University of Tennessee at Knoxville Law Professor Glenn Reynolds is calling out state and local health officials claims over COVID-19 and businesses like restaurants, saying they are “not following the science.”

Reynolds called out Knox County officials specifically for their recent claims.

Davidson County has made similar claims.

Starting Monday, Nov. 30, Nashville will limit bars and restaurants to 50 percent capacity, NewsChannel 5 reported Monday. They must operate at half capacity with 6 feet of social distancing for a maximum of 100 customers per floor, whichever is less.

There will be a 10 p.m. “last call” for food and no entry after 10 p.m., Mayor John Cooper tweeted.

On Sunday, as Metro Nashville was considering new limits, Reynolds posted about Knox County “they’re not following the science,” and said he questions local officials for considering closing bars and gyms. His full post is available here on Instapundit with PJ Media.

They’ve twice admitted that their own data don’t show bars and restaurants as significant sources of infection, yet they’ve continued to treat them as such. In the early days, when we didn’t know much, going by hunch and supposition was forgivable. Now we’ve got over 6 months of contact tracing data, and going by hunch and supposition isn’t forgivable anymore.

Reynolds points to the most recent weekly Tennessee Health Department report, available here. It shows the number of active COVID-19 cases by cluster that at the time of the report were being monitored. Nashville reported only one case from a bar and two from a restaurant. The highest cluster was 37 from the generic “community” label.

Reynolds said Knox County has not made the case, based on state data, for closing businesses like restaurants.

Reynolds spoke on Sept. 3 to the Tennessee General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee to Study Emergency Powers, as The Tennessee Star reported. He told the committee that people can generally be trusted to do the right thing in emergencies. While the state has been well governed during this emergency, that may not be true during the next crisis. He urged the committee not to fight the last battle in regard to the pandemic. They can require the governor to be transparent about his decisions

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Editors note: The headline of an earlier version of this story referenced Nashville rather than Knoxville. The Tennessee Star regrets this error.

Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.





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4 Thoughts to “Knox County Not ‘Following the Science’ in Limiting Restaurant Business, UTK Law Professor Glenn Reynolds Says”

  1. Bubba Norton

    We are getting closer to armed conflict with leftist tyrants.

  2. Julie

    The state’s own active cluster monitoring table (page 6 of the link above) from Friday seems to suggest that bars and restaurants are not the problem. However, Mayor Cooper can arbitrarily change the rules at any time as long as he cites “avoidance.” And don’t expect our local mainstream media to question or review their “data.” They are too busy regurgitating Mayor Cooper’s talking points as opposed to doing any real journalism.

  3. People have the right to peacefully assemble for a meal, a concert, a protest, etc. Screw Mayor Cooper. He is a Tyrant.

  4. Kevin

    The only thing that these kind of Orwellian mandates are doing is to open the eyes of everyday, apolitical citizens! Does anybody really believe that a virus becomes more or less dangerous after a certain time on day? Of course not! Yet these politicians tell us all to “believe and follow the science”.

    The one thing that this old boy isn’t going to do, is believe or follow these politicians!

    And frankly, it doesn’t matter who the Mayor of Nashville is, or who the media tries to tell us is President, millions of Americans are going to Trump-on!