Did Nashville's mayor hide a Wuhan virus decline?

Rahm Emanuel, Obama's onetime chief of staff, memorably said, "Never let a crisis go to waste."  He knew that, when people are afraid, they'll cede power to the government.  However, it's a problem when the data don't match the alleged crisis.  In 2004, when that happened with "climate change" data, those involved told each other to "hide the decline."  In our virus age, it appears that Nashville's mayor hid the numbers showing that his city's locked down bars and restaurants were not contributing much to the Wuhan virus's spread.  The lockdown rolled on.

Fox 17, in Nashville, Tennessee, had a bombshell story on Thursday:

The coronavirus cases on lower Broadway may have been so low that the mayor's office and the Metro Health Department decided to keep it secret.

Emails between the mayor's senior advisor and the health department reveal only a partial picture. But what they reveal is disturbing.

The discussion involves the low number of coronavirus cases emerging from bars and restaurants and how to handle that.

And most disturbingly, how to keep it from the public.

Keeping the bars and restaurants closed has wrought havoc on a major part of Nashville's economy.  Why would Mayor John Cooper, a Democrat, have done this to his city?

We can certainly speculate.  As we've seen since the first day of the Wuhan virus's appearance in America, a frightened citizenry is a compliant citizenry.  That's why, as Rahm Emanuel well knew, it's easy to use a period of panic to pass significant legislation that people would ordinarily resist.

By hiding the actual numbers, Mayor Cooper was able to keep people ignorant about the risks the virus posed to them.  As a general matter, people grossly overestimate the virus's impact on young people and underestimate the devastation it wrought amongst older and sicker people.  A Will Witt video illustrates these warped perceptions:

In Nashville, the mayor was able to push through a 34% property tax to offset lost revenue.  Normally, people would have opposed that kind of dramatic increase, but the lockdown made it seem necessary.  The tax will undoubtedly continue long after the Wuhan virus is just a bad memory, warping the economy and keeping poorer citizens dependent on the government.

One of the things that struck me most forcibly about how Mayor Cooper's office was desperate not to let Nashville residents know that the bars and restaurants were relatively safe is how closely this tactic tracked 2004's Climategate scandal.  That was when we learned that the employees at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were talking about manipulating climate data gleaned from tree rings to "hide the decline" in temperatures.  (Incidentally, when you search "Climategate," it takes forever to wade through the articles dishonestly "debunking" it.)

We may soon get information from Mayor Cooper's office explaining why the office was desperate to keep the people of Nashville from learning that grandma and grandpa were dying like flies and that construction workers had issues, but that there was probably no reason to destroy the Nashville economy by destroying a significant part of its tax base.  Until then, Mayor Cooper's hiding data looks like another in a series of Democrat power plays intended to hide from people that they don't need to panic — and, specifically, that they don't need to hand so much power to their government.

Image: Nashville mayor's office email, a public record obtained via FOIA request.