Nashville mayor denies COVID 'cover up'

Friday, September 18, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

woman wearing mask on streetThe head of Judicial Watch wants U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate shutdown orders in Nashville and other cities.

"The leftist mayor's office there was caught hiding information showing that infections associated with bars and restaurants were virtually non-existent, and they clearly saw that if that material came out it would put pressure on them to allow the local hospitality economy there to open up again," said Tom Fitton on The Todd Starnes Show. "It's all based on a lie, and I don't understand where the Justice Department has been on this."

Fitton, Tom (Judicial Watch)Fitton went on to say that Attorney General Barr "always says the right thing, but the follow up is lacking."

"It's been lacking on, as he highlighted this week, the worst assault on civil liberties in American history barring slavery," said the president of Judicial Watch.

Fox News personality Tucker Carlson has also expressed criticism over the Nashville mayor's reported handling of the COVID-19 data. Speaking Thursday on his television program, Carlson said the alleged Nashville coronavirus data was a cover up.

Information about the mayor's handling of the COVID-19 data was first reported by Fox17 Nashville.

OneNewsNow requested comment from the mayor's office and received the following response:

"A recent news story by FOX17 Nashville was published with limited information and without context, using screenshots of Metro emails to falsely accuse the Mayor's office and the Metro Public Health Department of withholding public health data that had previously been shared with and published by another local news outlet, the Tennessee Lookout, on August 4, 2020. Emails from the same thread emphasizing the need to publicly release as much COVID-19 data as possible, which were omitted from the FOX17 story, are attached.

"On June 29, following a nationwide spike in coronavirus cases, the Mayor's office emailed Metro Public Health asking its staff to share the results of its contact tracing investigations to help identify the sources and spread of COVID-19 in Davidson County to help guide an appropriate policy response. Up to that point, Metro Public Health had typically tracked infections to broader categories of sources – such as workplace, community, household, and travel – but the Mayor's office requested more specific sourcing, including bars, large gatherings, and weddings, as examples based on national trends.

"Two days prior to these emails, the weekend before the July 4 holiday, the MPHD epidemiology team had contacted Dr. Alex Jahangir, Chair of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force, to alert him that, for the first time, clusters of cases had been linked to bars in Nashville. On July 3, Modified Phase Two of the 'Roadmap for Reopening Nashville' took effect, temporarily closing bars and other businesses and venues with a high risk of COVID-19 spread. Four weeks after this public health decision was made, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, visited Nashville to warn the entire state of Tennessee that bars in hotspots should be immediately closed because of their potential to facilitate the spread the coronavirus. Thankfully, Nashville had already taken this step.

"Nashville has made significant progress with our COVID-19 response as a result of these timely, data-driven public health decisions taken earlier this summer. Nashville's 7-day percent positive rate peaked at 17.1 percent on July 9. It is 5.1 percent today. Our 7-day rate of new cases peaked at 64.7 per 100,000 residents on July 13, which is now 15.6 per 100,000 residents as of this morning. These metrics have allowed for incremental, important adjustments to our local economy that are helping more Nashvillians quickly and safely get back to work.

"The Mayor's office and the Metro Public Health Department remain committed as always to providing timely and transparent information that helps inform our local media and all Nashvillians in the fight against COVID-19. And we're grateful to all the residents and businesses owners in Davidson County for their hard work and dedication to our ongoing COVID-19 response."

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