Mayor Cooper speaks with NewsChannel 5 about mask mandate

Posted at 6:35 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 19:38:53-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On the heels of Nashville's worst day yet for reported new COVID-19 cases, Nashville Mayor John Cooper sat down for an interview with NewsChannel 5 over Zoom to discuss the importance of wearing masks.

He urged Nashvillians to make the decision themselves to wear face masks, ahead of active enforcement of the mask order citywide -- with special officers on lower Broadway starting tomorrow. He acknowledged while more people are wearing masks, some are still choosing not to.

"Our natural American rebelliousness is a big asset, but maybe not in dealing with the coronavirus," Cooper said. "If we'd just get back to doing what we know is right, which is keeping each other safe."

Cooper admitted that the debate over whether to wear a mask has strayed from the medical arena to the political one, meaning many may not choose to follow medical advice.

"We have to put our fears aside and draw on the better parts of our nature, going forward," Cooper said. "That's why we will be better at the end of this than we are today because we'll have learned to work together, in this hardest of all tasks."

And to get that kind of universal response of mask-wearing, Cooper pointed to another obstacle that he says required a universal response -- where he says Nashville truly came through.

"The tornado was a big challenge for us in the Spring: we got through it, we worked together. It was a great moment for Nashville," Cooper said. Nashville needs a similar moment right now in terms of mask-wearing and compliance."