Asked by Meghan McCain on “The View” if she should have cancelled Mardi Gras celebrations in February, Latoya Cantrell deflected blame to Trump and the federal government for providing no “red flags” to her at the time.
I was actually surprised that the Mardi Gras celebrations continued last month in February, and there were 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?
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, preparing and planning for Mardi Gras, they were engaging the CDC in time for preparation, no red flags for 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 9, I moved to — I was actually the first 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. I’m quoted as saying all hell broke loose for canceling those events. 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 we would be in a better place today, our entire country. That’s where the focus needs to be at this time.
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.
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. So we cannot defy the laws of nature and expect to survive. People are dying.
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.