Nashville Mayor John Cooper should resign for shutting down businesses needlessly, country music superstar John Rich tells Newsmax TV.
Rich is one of many bar and restaurant owners affected by the lockdown in effect since the summer.
Recently reported emails between the mayor's staff have led to protests and calls for his resignation as well as for a reopening of downtown businesses that detractors say were not as affected by COVID as the mayor's office originally claimed.
Appearing Monday on "Stinchfield," Rich said businesses on Broadway were told a "significant number" of COVID-19 cases were linked to the entertainment district.
"They said, 'Hey, a lot of these numbers are coming from your sector of town so we're gonna have to shut you guys down.' To which we said, 'No problem, you know, we don't want to be a part of the problem; we want to definitely help.'"
Months later, only two dozen cases were traced to the entertainment district, he noted.
"So it's not that he didn't tell us how many cases the town had," Rich said. "It's that he just left the part out that hardly any of them are coming from our part of town."
Cooper held a press conference Thursday where he was asked if any of his stats were misleading, WKRN.com reported.
"Of course there's no effort to withhold information, we'll do all we can to open up all information," Cooper said. Cooper plans a to ease some restrictions Oct. 1.
Rich told host Grant Stinchfield business owners are not mollified. He has said he is getting phone calls from restaurant owners who are not Republicans or conservatives who want to join the cause against the Democratic mayor and open back up, including bringing a class-action lawsuit.
"So I will say one thing with this, the mayor, he has brought unity amongst a lot of people in town that don't appreciate the shell game being played with us," he said.
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