By Michael Hernandez
NASHVILLE—Fox 17 News (WZTV) last night broke the news of Democrat Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s shutdown of Music City was not justified by public health data which was then covered up by the Mayor’s Office for almost three months.
The Mayor’s Office in Nashville had identified what they called the “Serious Six” areas that needed to be intentionally locked down to protect city residents:
- Faith-based group activities (Churches)
- Weddings (Special Event venues including worship centers)
- Bars and restaurants (food places)
- Essential work sites (Construction, food producing, healthcare)
- Small gatherings and parties
- Household contacts
According to emails obtained by WZTV they appear to show Mayor John Cooper’s senior advisor and officials in the Metro Nashville Health Department (MNHD) discussing how much information they should release publicly about cases linked to bars and restaurants on lower Broadway—the heart of the city’s nightlife scene.
The Daily Mail reported this morning that in at least two instances in June and July, city officials chose not to release the specific numbers which showed that relatively few cases had been linked to bars and restaurants. These same bars and restaurants were struggling to stay in business even with limited capacity after being forced to close down for two months from March to May.
Contacting tracing in Nashville revealed that the city experienced 22 COVID-19 positive cases in June out of 20,000 reported according to information presented in today’s “Logan Sekulow Reprogram” radio show based out of Nashville,
“Why would a Mayor of Music City kill the music that keeps the city alive?” said Logan Sekulow. “My phone has been ringing off the hook with both Democrats and Republicans calling and wanting to remove this Mayor.”
The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation last month estimated Nashville businesses have so far lost $2.45 billion in visitor spending due to COVID-19 and are losing more than $100 million per week as the lockdown continues.
Meanwhile, in recent months the City of Nashville has passed a $34 million property tax increase and the Mayor’s Office has been requesting dramatic cuts to school (25 percent of the budget), police (closing four of the city’s eight precincts), and fire department budgets.
Currently, Nashville has nearly twice as many city employees per 1,000 residents than the more populous city of Louisville, Kentucky. The city has more than twice the debt ($3.49 billion) than the entire state of Tennessee. Mayor John Cooper has asked Gov. Bill Lee (R-TN) to bail out the city with $82.7 million as part of a COVID-19 relief package.
A Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act proposal is calling for a special election referendum that is costing $800,000 on Dec. 5 to repeal the city’s property tax increase and to limit any future tax increases to two percent per year, unless approved by a public referendum. The Mayor claims a repeal will cost the city a $332 million budget deficit if passed. Meanwhile, citizens are calling for Mayor John Cooper to either resign or be recalled.
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].