Mayor John Cooper has requested from Gov. Bill Lee an additional $82.6 million in COVID-19 relief to help aid Nashville’s tourism industry, music venues, small-businesses and to help expand the city’s social resources.
In a letter last week outlining the city’s needs as Nashville continues to be rocked by the ongoing pandemic, Cooper reminds Lee the state’s economic recovery begins in Nashville — “right now.”
The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. 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 pandemic continues.
“Nashville’s pace of recovery will determine the trajectory of Tennessee’s economic recovery, and we seek to work with you to achieve those shared goals,” the mayor wrote.
But emails obtained by the local Fox 17 station reveal that the mayor’s office colluded with Nashville Health Department to hide actual COVID-19 numbers from the city because the numbers were so low.
The email below:
From Fox 17:
The discussion involves the low number of coronavirus cases emerging from bars and restaurants and how to handle that.and most disturbingly how to keep it from the public.
On June 30th, contact tracing was giving a small view of coronavirus clusters. Construction and nursing homes causing problems more than a thousand cases traced to each category, but bars and restaurants reported just 22 cases.
Leslie Waller from the health department asks “This isn’t going to be publicly released, right? Just info for Mayor’s Office?
“Correct, not for public consumption.” Writes senior advisor Benjamin Eagles
A month later the health department is asked point-blank about the rumor there are only 80 cases traced to bars and restaurants.
Meanwhile, the city’s request for more relief includes $35.2 million for tourism-related businesses, which includes $11.7 to assist live venues and musicians and $23.5 million for restaurants and hotels.
Other urgent needs Cooper said, includes:
$23.5 million in relief for small and micro businesses.
$10 million for arts organizations.
$5.2 million for behavioral health.
$5 million for workforce development.
$2 million for childcare and distanced learning:
$1.3 million to hire staff to address assistance for increased domestic violence cases.
$300,000 for eviction mediation
$300,000 for burial of indigent persons.
Natalie Dagenhardt is an American conservative writer who writes for Right Journalism! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot,” and does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do,” drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington. She is a “constitutional conservative”.