BATISTE: LaToya Cantrell’s Non-Essential Tropical Trip

The mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, is on an international trip while she holds the citizens and businesses captive under un-American restrictions. NOLA.com had a brief write up by Jessica Williams that reads like a slightly modified press release. Cantrell’s trip wreaks of flagrant hypocrisy.

According to how the NOLA story reads, the mayor did not provide advance notice of her trip to a foreign territory. Williams’ article states, “New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is in the British Virgin Islands receiving professional development until Saturday, City Hall officials said.” The trip is connected with the Aspen Institute, and “professional development” sounds ultra-vague.

The article has no mention as to whether Cantrell is with her husband or daughter on the professional development trip, which of the British Virgin Islands she is actually visiting, or the property on which she is staying, or how she traveled there. Interestingly, according to a prior NOLA.com article, Louis Armstrong reopened international flights on March 2nd however the city’s main newspaper also neglected to detail when Cantrell’s vacation began.

While the city is detained under the order of Mayor Cantrell, she’s on an international non-essential trip. Back in the States, two of Louisiana’s three neighboring states—Mississippi and Texas–have lifted mask mandates and reopened 100%. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards advanced the entire state to Phase 3 on March 2nd, however Cantrell rejected that progress in New Orleans from her tropical excursion.

Back in the city formerly known as The Big Easy, Cantrell wants to control or know every occurrence in the city through permit requirements. She still dictates even the most minute actions she deems acceptable. For instance, the current restrictions for live music on your front porch demand, “All audience members must be seated and wear masks… must refrain from cheering or singing along… prohibited from dancing… trombone players, who must be nine feet from those in front of them, due to the length of the instrument…”

Businesses are scraping by, operating at 50% capacity, under the Cantrell Codes. And restrictions on private life are overbearing. It’s a clear situation of whichever cliche is preferred, rules for thee but not for me, do as so say not as I do, etc. etc.

A major reason for New Orleans remaining under the current modified Phase 2 guidelines was stated as, “the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently recommended against significantly rolling back restrictions to curb the spread in light of the more contagious variants.”

Since the Cantrell Administration cited the CDC, the CDC website has details pertinent to traveling to the British Virgin Islands. According to the CDC, Mayor Cantrell is directed to take a Covid-19 test with a negative result before returning to the U.S. If she tests negative, she can come back to New Orleans. But wait, the CDC has more travel restrictions: “After you travelget tested 3–5 days after travel AND stay home to self-quarantine for 7 days after travel. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home to self-quarantine for 10 days.”

Test or no test, the CDC mandates that Mayor Cantrell will be required to quarantine for 7-10 days following her return on Saturday, March 6th. If the CDC specifies not to travel and Mayor Cantrell traveled, then the mayor cannot expect businesses or people in New Orleans to adhere to her restrictions.

The Hayride reached out to LaToya Cantrell and her taxpayer-funded Communications staff asking details of her trip, as well as her input on issues and questions regarding the hypocritical nature of the vacation. No one has responded.

One of the more glaring angles with Cantrell’s tropical trip is that as far as the public knows, the Cantrell family owes back taxes and an international jaunt to the British Virgin Islands hardly seems like a fiscally responsible decision.

The Cantrell Administration has yet to provide any “robust data” that would support the mayor’s travel to a foreign territory while keeping the city she runs operating under restrictions. The mayor must acknowledge the double standards practiced by her travel, such as old tweets in which she stated: “Remember during #PhaseTwo you are safer at home.” Mayor Cantrell did not respond to the parallels between her international trip and her reaction to the Nyx event in Biloxi.

The double standards are surreal. And truly, one of the most absurd happenings of 2021 is the mayor of New Orleans dictating that the city of New Orleans would not advance with the rest of Louisiana, and doing so from a tropical paradise vacation in the Caribbean. American politicians have taken an elite status similar to the European nobility of olde, and the taxpayers who financially support them are the mere peasants.

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