For good and bad reasons, my adopted hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, can’t stay out of the news.
The good: Ben Shapiro, Jeremy Boreing, and the gang from The Daily Wire are moving their successful conservative media company here for reasons similar to mine. They no longer “love LA.”
They considered Texas but opted for Music City because of the number of “creatives” here. (If you watched the Nashville-based Academy of Country Music Awards on Sept. 16, you could see that in action.) Welcome, guys!
The bad: Like many cities across this nation, Nashville’s government has been extremely peremptory—and it now seems worse than that—in its dealings with the pandemic.
Its mayor, John Cooper, issued what amounted to diktats restricting most social activity in a town that relies heavily on tourist income. They were particularly punitive toward the popular honky-tonks on Lower Broadway. The owners screamed bloody murder but got little or no response.
Mayor Cooper is shaping up as a national villain, similar to New York City’s infamous Bill De Blasio. (More in a moment)
Not So DangerousRestaurants and bars may not be nearly as dangerous locales for the transmission of the novel coronavirus (known here as the CCP virus) as we have been told. In fact, they could possibly not be very dangerous at all, since the instances of the virus associated with them appear to be minuscule.
That has implications for every city in the world and every country. The hospitality industry has been decimated, in many places, almost beyond repair. Tourism has been wounded globally, possibly terminally. Ditto the airline industry. Tons of employees in virtually every nation have lost their jobs.
The reasons for these—let’s be kind—“mistakes” are political and scientific.
The political couldn’t be more obvious. Various sides proclaim what they insist is the scientific truth about the pandemic according to their ideological wishes or what they hope to achieve politically.
The doctor, formerly a Hong Kong resident, lives in hiding somewhere in the United States, while Twitter and Facebook continue to exercise massive control over our lives and what we learn and know in a manner that veers to the totalitarian.
Further, on the scientific side, for the past eight months or so we have watched the supposed “experts” contradict each other and themselves ad infinitum on what we should do about the virus, wear the mask or not, what drugs work or don’t and so forth. (How many times has Dr. Anthony Fauci said the exact opposite of what he said only a month or so before?)
All of a sudden, Sweden—that was heavily criticized for practicing “herd immunity,” kept its restaurants and bars open and (more or less) was apolitical in its decision-making—is doing pretty well, especially compared to most of Europe. Who would have guessed it?
Moral NarcissismBut back to humble Nashville and what it portends nationally. The email exchange unmasked by the local television station tells us about much of the decline of American cities we are experiencing or witnessing.
Like so many mayors across the country, Nashville’s Cooper—awash in moral narcissism—allowed supposedly righteous demonstrators from Black Lives Matter and, to some extent anyway, Antifa protest with near-impunity while restricting the pleasurable activities of law-abiding citizens. (He was lucky things didn’t get more out of hand here than they did.)
Somehow, again like the other mayors, he acted as if the protest crowds wouldn't transmit the virus whereas the crowds of tourists and locals boogieing on Lower Broadway would.
“On June 30th, contact tracing was given a small view of coronavirus clusters. Construction and nursing homes were found to be causing problems with more than a thousand cases traced to each category, but bars and restaurants reported just 22 cases.”
That’s 22 out of 27,563 documented COVID cases in Nashville/Davidson County, as of this writing. That’s 0.0008 percent from bars and restaurants. Ten times more people probably sprained their ankles getting out of Ubers.
Moreover, there’s no indication this minute number even knew they were sick, let alone were hospitalized or died.
You would think local government would rejoice, open the bars and restaurants, let the good times roll.
Top SecretWhat transpired was a TOP SECRET/EYES ONLY email to a circle of government officials who colluded digitally with each other about why this happened and how to handle this awkward information.
One of the emails that—for reasons unknown, but you can guess—had the sender’s name ripped off from the address line at the top said: “My two cents. We have refused to give counts per bar because those numbers are low per se.”
Indeed, they are.
No Beds AvailableBut, as the late-night TV cliché goes, there’s more. And this, too, has national, possibly global, implications for the pandemic we have been living through.
“Metro's metric requires us to have 20 percent of beds open before we can reopen.
Well, I’ll be…
No, I won’t, actually. Nothing surprises me at this point.
Does this mean that the game is rigged, that Nashville (and other cities undoubtedly) stays locked down in perpetuity ... or until, if and when, Joe Biden gets elected?
The folks at Fox 17 asked Cooper for a response to this seemingly outrageous situation. He answered with some prevaricating politician-speak that ended like this: “Now, I think they [hospitalizations] do recede a little bit and that's why it can't be just on one metric. You're navigating the course of the disease that, let's be more realistic, it will be much more like a year we'll be influenced by it.”
That would make us about six months into his hoped-for Biden administration. As for Cooper, I can’t wait to vote in his recall election.