Nashville Mayor Cooper pushes Gov. Lee for tighter coronavirus restrictions

Jul 31, 2020

Gov. Bill Lee (L) and Mayor John Cooper

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Nashville Mayor John Cooper continues to push Gov. Bill Lee to tighten pandemic restrictions statewide as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

Cooper has repeatedly used his weekly press conferences to contrast Gov. Lee’s laissez-faire approach to infection control to more muscular efforts in other southern states.

A reporter on Thursday asked the mayor if he’s “frustrated” at Lee’s continuing resistance to additional restrictions.

Cooper responded he knows no one cares more about Tennesseans than the governor. However, the mayor went on to urge Lee to take the advice delivered personally this week by White House pandemic task force leader Dr. Deborah Birx.

In a meeting in Nashville with Lee on Monday, Birx suggested the governor implement a statewide mask mandate, close all bars, and limit the size of group meetings.

Minutes after speaking with Birx, Gov. Lee again reiterated that all options remain on the table, but he has no plans to expand pandemic restrictions.