The Look in Brief

Nashville COVID chief says ‘data and science matter’

By: - May 14, 2020 7:31 am
Dr. Alex Jahangir (Screenshot)

Dr. Alex Jahangir (Screenshot)

A Monday story from NBC that reported Nashville is experiencing a high spike in COVID-19 cases counted data from a Trousdale County prison outbreak took local criticism.

Written by political reporter Jonathan Allen and reporters Phil McCausland and Cyrus Farivar, the story cited a May 7 report by the White House pandemic task force.

Dr. Alex Jahangir, chair of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said the report was wrong.

“When I saw that report, I was really surprised. That report was including the prison outbreak in Trousdale County,” said Jahangir in a brief interview that aired on Twitter. “I love speaking to local and regional media who know that Trousdale and Davidson County are not the same. That’s why the data and the science matter.”

Trousdale County, where Turner Correctional Center is located, is in the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) but is more than 50 miles east of Nashville.

Of the 2,440 inmates at Turner who have been tested for the virus, 1,074 have tested positive. According to the Tennessee Department of Corrections website, two recent deaths are presumed to be due to the virus but autopsies are pending.

Both Jahangir and Nashville Mayor John Cooper say new COVID cases are staying steadily in the 90-100 per day range.

Also on Monday, Nashville began Phase One of reopening, with retail stores, commercial businesses and restaurants permitted to open at half capacity.

The Tennessee Lookout attempted to reach Allen for a comment but had not received a response at press time. Allen defended his report on Twitter.



Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

J. Holly McCall
J. Holly McCall

Holly McCall has been a fixture in Tennessee media and politics for decades. She covered city hall for papers in Columbus, Ohio and Joplin, Missouri before returning to Tennessee with the Nashville Business Journal. Holly brings a deep wealth of knowledge about Tennessee’s political processes and players and likes nothing better than getting into the weeds of how political deals are made.