Founding Partner Harry Nelson was interviewed on Yahoo! Entertainment to discuss the several bars in Nashville, TN that refuse to close, despite a mandate the local mayor.

Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse in Nashville won’t be shutting down despite a mandate from the mayor. Mayor John Cooper ordered bars throughout Davidson County, Tennessee, to close in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but Steve Smith — who co-owns the bar — said he won’t comply.

Kid Rock has yet to publicly weigh in. Yahoo Entertainment reached out to a representative for the rocker but did not immediately receive a response. Harry Nelson, founder and managing partner of Nelson Hardiman, Los Angeles’ largest health care law firm, called their decision “dead wrong.”

“Tennessee law empowers Nashville’s Metropolitan Board of Health to impose emergency public health measures,” Nelson told Yahoo Entertainment. “Nashville Mayor John Cooper is lawfully issuing directives based on the Chief Medical Director’s recommendation. [The owners] may not like their decisions, but these are the designated officials empowered to make difficult decisions like this in a crisis. These closures are constitutional.”

Nelson stressed, “lives are at stake.”

“More people will die in a rapid spread of COVID-19 fueled by transmission at gathering places because our hospitals will be overwhelmed,” he added. “There already aren’t enough ventilators for all of the people whose lives will depend on them. Kid Rock himself may be healthy, but other people who need care will pay a price for [the] decision.”

Smith said he’s awaiting a statewide mandate, which Nelson further explained.

“In our federal system, the state has sovereignty alongside the federal government and regulates the public health. Local city and county officials derive their power from state laws, regulations and authorization. In other words, mayors and local boards of health only have as much power as the state says they have,” Nelson shared. “The state has absolute authority to close down businesses, order people to stay home and decide what the consequences are for people who violate these laws. The state already criminalizes defiant behavior and can further authorize local law enforcement and prosecutors to arrest and charge people like Kid Rock with crimes.”

If a statewide mandate comes down and Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N’ Roll Steakhouse remains open, they will likely face repercussions.

“Currently, most law on the books limit the punishments to criminal misdemeanors with limited fines for people who disregard public health official orders and create the risk of spreading infection,” Nelson said, explaining in Tennessee, that can be 30 days in jail and fines of $50.

“But in the HIV context, Tennessee made it a felony, with up to 15 years and a $10,000 fine to expose another person to HIV,” he noted. “We may see state governments passing laws to raise the stakes” around the coronavirus.

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