New Orleans Democrat Mayor Again Blames Trump For Her Decision Not To Cancel Mardi Gras

New Orleans Democrat Mayor LaToya Cantrell once again blames President Trump for her own failure.

RUSH TRANSCRIPT:

McCAIN: “Mayor Cantrell, this is Meghan. Hearing you say that is incredibly sobering, and I know all the hosts on this show are huge fans of the city of New Orleans, and I was actually surprised that the Mardi Gras celebrations continued last month in February, and there were over a million of people that gathered. There are experts that say this could have accelerated the spread of the Coronavirus throughout the city. Do you regret, in hindsight, not canceling Mardi Gras?”

CANTRELL: “Well, when you say many were surprised, that did not hit the ground at all. Nor did it hit the ground at the national level, nor the state level. There were multiple gatherings and events happening throughout the United States of America with over a million people participating. So at that particular time, with no red flags given, with the federal government being embedded in our unified command, in planning and preparing for Mardi Gras, there were no red flags with engaging CDC at the time, again, in preparation, no red flags. Mardi Gras Day and leading up to it, I had special agents, federal agents on the ground with our people. So when the city of New Orleans experienced our first case, which was around March the 9th, I moved to — I was the first, actually, in the state to end social gatherings, put a halt to events. One was St. Patrick’s Day, the other one was our Super Sunday for our Mardi Gras Indians. And I’m quoted as saying all Hell broke loose by canceling those events. So you’re talking about February 5th with no red flags. No, ma’am, we proceeded as others did. Now in hindsight, I think as the country is concerned, we should have had no events throughout the U.S. of A., and I think that we would be in a better place today, our entire country, and that’s where the focus needs to be at this time.”

BEHAR: “Yes. I agree. So, intelligence — this is Joy. Intelligence reports from January and February went ignored by Trump, and now the U.S. leads the world in Coronavirus cases. Congratulations to him. As of this week we have lost more people with the Coronavirus than we did on 9/11. Amazing. And despite all of this, Trump is giving himself a ten out of ten. What do you think about the response to Trump and the White House? You alluded to it in your last answer. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?”

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CANTRELL: “What I believe is that, of course, leadership matters and it sets the tone for local leaders on the ground. We really are all in this together. The response right now is on what the needs are on the ground. You know, not only in the city of New Orleans, the state of Louisiana, but we’re seeing again, throughout our country that action needs to happen. And I think this is the perfect time to really expand leadership at that national level by bringing stay-at-home mandates across our country. We cannot look at this as that one state is separate. We’re all connected. This is our country, and every fellow man and fellow woman and all the pronouns, you know, this is like our World War II, and so it’s serious. We cannot defy the laws of nature and expect to survive. People are dying.”

BEHAR: “Right. That’s right.”

HOSTIN: “Madam Mayor, this is Sunny Hostin. You know, New Orleans is actually one of my favorite cities, as Meghan mentioned. My best friend lives there, one of my best friends. Now, once you learned about the severity of COVID-19, you canceled all public gatherings in your city, and kudos to you for doing that. I noticed though, that a lot of your residents didn’t take it seriously, and in fact, as you mentioned, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Why do you think, not withstanding your order to stay in, stay at home, people are ignoring it and still gathering in public?”

CANTRELL: “Well, what I will say is there’s a couple of things to that. First of all, it goes back, again, leadership, it does matter. When I moved to cancel St. Patrick’s Day and the like, you know, I was ridiculed by one of our top officials in the state of Louisiana. So again, leadership matters and it sets the tone for how even your people will respond. But I will say today, you know, over 73% of our folks in terms of mobility, they’re at home, and we’re tracking that data using cell phone data. And so people are responding and I thank them for that, but again, we’re taking swift action. This is serious. People are dying. They’re faced with summons. They’re faced with arrests. They’re faced with being shut down. So we have to take the action steps that are necessary to demonstrate the severity of this matter, this crisis, this pandemic. Not only in our city, not only in our state, but the United States of America. This virus has demonstrated that it is in control, and so it means that we have to act, and follow suit protecting our people, protecting ourselves, protecting our country.”

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