Dennis Ferrier of Fox News 17 continues his reporting on Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s overreach in closing restaurants and bars, which account for only a fraction of coronavirus cases even as that industry continues to suffer.
Ferrier has been digging into the story for some time to gain the actual number of cases.
Prior to running the story, Ferrier posted on his Facebook page, “It wasn’t easy, but we FINALLY have the total number of bar and restaurant COVID cases in Nashville since March. You don’t want to miss this story tonight after the debate on FOX17 news.”
Ferrier’s latest story was published Wednesday here. Those establishments have been connected to only 146 of the county’s 25,000-plus coronavirus cases even as they continue to face crippling limitations.
Ferrier began reporting on the story last month and drew national headlines, as The Tennessee Star has reported.
Ferrier on Wednesday reported that the 146 cases account for less than one-half of one percent of all cases, which has implications for businesses that have been closed or working at a fraction of occupancy since March.
The Tennessee hospitality association offers these numbers from the state. In June and July combined, Nashville restaurant numbers are down 41 percent. The entire rest of the state is down just 12 percent.
Fox 17 News reported on September 25 that more and more businesses and workers in the hospitality industry are interested in joining a federal class action lawsuit over Cooper’s shutdown.
Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Cooper can heal the economy by reopening it, The Star reported Wednesday.
On the Sept. 18 edition of Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the Beacon Center’s Vice President of Communications Mark Cunningham on the newsmakers line. Cunningham said Cooper only follows the science when it suits him, and this has implications that should make people take notice all across the country.
Are they seeing the numbers that are good for people and still shutting down businesses. I think that’s the major concern for everybody. It’s not just conservatives but it is every person that believes in a balance between health and safety. And not just shutting everything down. So I think this is going to make people across the country take a look at their local governments.
The full transcript is available here.
The Star reported on Sept. 21 that Cooper knew the truth about the low restaurant and bar case counts during a July 2 press conference when he said “record” cases were his reason to slash the businesses’ capacity. In other words, there was no credible evidence.
When Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced at a July 2 press conference that he was shutting down all the city’s bars for 14 days, reducing restaurant capacity from 75 percent to 50 percent, and temporarily closing event venues and entertainment venues, all due to “record” cases of COVID-19 traceable to restaurants and bars, he apparently knew that his own Metro Health Department said less than two dozen cases of COVID-19 could be traced to those establishments.
– – –