A Nashville councilwoman wants anyone who doesn’t wear a mask to be “tried for murder or attempted murder.”
“My question goes back to legislation,” Sharon Hurt, an at-large councilwoman of the Nashville Metro Council, said during a meeting last week between Public Safety, Beer & Regulated Beverages and Health, Hospitals, & Social Services committees.
“But my concern is — you know I work for an organization, that if they pass a virus, then they are tried for murder or attempted murder, if they are not told … and this person who may very well pass this virus that’s out in the air because they’re not wearing a mask is basically doing the same thing to someone who contracts it and dies from it.”
“It seems to me that we have been more reactive, as opposed to proactive, and a little too late, too little,” she said. “Maybe there needs to be stronger legislation to say that if you do not wear a mask and you subject exposure of this virus to someone else then there will be some stronger penalty as it is in other viruses that are exposed.”
Hurt had to be told by Metro Nashville’s Director of Legislative Affairs Mike Jameson that the city committees just can’t do that. “The Council does not have the opportunity on its own to create criminal legislation,” he said. “In terms of creating a new code or class of criminal offenses, that is a creature of state law.”
Hurt expressed her disappointment, “I was afraid that was going to be the answer.”
“I guess that’s the whole point of asking for something to be done as early as the Council was pushing,” Hurt said. “It seems it was not taken as seriously as it should have been and thus we are in the situation we are in right now.”
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