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Nashville mayor charged with hiding COVID numbers to justify lockdown

Newly-released emails obtained by attorneys who are suing Nashville over the months-long coronavirus lockdown in the Country-Western capital of the world indicate that Mayor John Cooper deliberately hid the true extent of the city’s COVID outbreak because he worried that the numbers were too small to justify quarantine measures he took.  

“It is gutted,” said country music star John Rich of Nashville post-COVID. “Mayor John Cooper has betrayed our town. He has betrayed Music City. He is the Judas to this town. He is now the [New York City Mayor Bill] de Blasio of the South,” reports Fox News.

But in a press conference this week announcing the loosening of corona restrictions in the city, Cooper denied the charges.

“Of course there’s no effort to withhold information, we’ll do all we can to open up all information,” Cooper said.

The emails in question seem to indicate that the public health department was worried about whether or not their statistics on outbreaks would be used with the public because they said the numbers needed additional “context” to be properly understood by the public.  

“If we were to release the referenced document publicly,” said the Nashville health department to an inquiry by a local TV news station, WKRN News 2, “we would have formatted it to match the formatting of other reports from our office. We also would have made sure it was accessible and contained additional context.”

The data from the health department seems to show a cluster of just six cases from bars on one day in June to justify the lockdown.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that the emails are just further proof that Cooper may have engaged in criminal activity.

“The hurt to these families, the revenue lost, to the city, the revenue lost to these business owners who have been struggling since March, it’s just absolutely criminal,” said Attorney Bryan Lewis, representing several bars suing the city over the lockdown.

“Nashville Councilman Steve Glover told News 2 he is hiring a private investigator to look into the emails,” says WKRN.

“Lewis said he was getting a lot of calls from people wanting to join the lawsuit once word of the emails went out. He said he wants the mayor and health officials to give a deposition and ultimately answer in front of a jury.”

Rich told Fox’s Laura Ingraham that Cooper ultimately let down all of Nashville by hiding the truth.  

“Let’s talk about musicians, let’s talk about bartenders and servers and security guards, all the people that work downtown in Nashville that were targeted by [him] … John Cooper claims he loves Nashville and loves Music City, yet he had the information at his fingertips that told him — the music scene is not what’s creating the COVID-19 problem in Nashville, but he decided not to display that information to us,” concluded Rich.

PHOTO: Getty Images

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