Nashville reported 209 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours on Monday, bringing the total of cases in Davidson County to 30,575. (The incubation period for Covid-19 is five to 14 days, so it isn’t yet clear what effect Sunday’s gathering might have on the city’s rates.)
Based in Redding, California, the 37-year-old Feucht ran for Congress as a Republican candidate in his home state’s District 3 but lost in the March primary. Since then, he’s earned a reputation (and received criticism for being tone-deaf) for staging concerts in cities where mass protests have been held again police brutality, including Minneapolis, Portland, Oregon, and Kenosha, Wisconsin. In June, he posted a curious statement on Facebook saying that while he believes black lives matter, he is against BLM as an organization.
On Saturday, Feucht performed beneath an indoor-outdoor pavilion for a crowd in Atlanta before coming to Nashville to “gather thousands,” he said in his Twitter message. “The church will not be silenced!” he wrote. Exactly what sort of silencing or persecution he is experiencing is unclear. Churches and houses of worship in Tennessee have been open for in-person services since May, with Gov. Bill Lee deeming religious services as “essential, rather than social gatherings.” Government leaders recommend remote worship when possible.
Nashville police chief John Drake also criticized Feucht’s concert and said organizers did not have “any advance communication with the MNPD.” “At a time when Nashville has been making real progress at controlling the spread of the coronavirus, I am greatly disappointed that the organizer of Sunday’s event and those in attendance did not better prioritize their health and the health of others through social distancing and the wearing of face coverings,” he said in a statement to Rolling Stone.
Feucht, a vocal supporter of Trump who prayed over the president in the Oval Office, has another Covid concert planned for Charleston, South Carolina, on Monday.
Earlier this summer, Nashville struggled to enforce pandemic regulations but turned a corner in September, allowing the city to enter Phase 3 of its reopening on October 1st. Public Square Park is traditionally the site of the city’s annual free concert series Live on the Green. Because of the ongoing health crisis, this year’s event was held online.