‘The Judas to this town’: John Rich calls on Nashville mayor to resign over COVID-19 email scandal

One of Nashville’s biggest stars is calling on that city’s mayor to resign.

Country singer John Rich is calling on John Cooper, the mayor of Tennessee’s capital city, to step down following a report linking his administration to a possible plan to withhold local coronavirus infection numbers, as reported by Fox News.

“Not for public consumption”

As WZTV previously reported, leaked emails between a senior Cooper aide and a representative of Nashville’s health department show an apparent effort to downplay COVID-19 reports that were better than expected.

Mayoral adviser Benjamin Eagles discussed the fact that the infection rate was so low, leading the health official to question at one point whether the information was “going to be publicly released.”

Eagles confirmed that it would not, clarifying that the data is “not for public consumption.”

Of course, the mayor has since dismissed the report and called reports that the city withheld coronavirus numbers “fake news,” as reported by WSMV.

“It’s a national story that no one locally believes is true,” Cooper said, going on to assert that the city was “tough early and that’s why we’re successful today.”

“He has betrayed Music City”

His defense is not sufficient for many locals, however, including Rich. The popular entertainer spoke out against Cooper on Thursday during an appearance on the Fox News Channel. Rich told The Ingraham Angle host Laura Ingraham that he was particularly bothered by the fact that Nashville’s economy was essentially “gutted” for no apparent reason.

“Mayor John Cooper has betrayed our town,” he claimed. “He has betrayed Music City. He is the Judas to this town.”

Comparing him unfavorably to New York City’s Democratic mayor, Rich called Cooper the “de Blasio of the South” before making a direct call for him to resign.

“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],” Rich said, insisting that “the music scene is not what’s creating the COVID-19 problem in Nashville, but he decided not to display that information to us.”

Accordingly, he called on the mayor to “resign by midnight.” Although Cooper remained in office the following day, Rich is surely not alone in his outrage over the city’s coronavirus response.

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