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Now is a time for truth, facts, leadership

Comments made by Natchez-Adams County Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford Sr. at a special Adams County Board of Supervisors meeting on Friday, which are published in a story on Page 1 of today’s newspaper, are shocking and disappointing.

Bradford claims the director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, who was unhappy with a story published in The Natchez Democrat, lectured him in a phone call on Friday morning.

“I’m going to need some help from my supervisors, because when they put anything in The Democrat (newspaper) negative toward anything, that goes to the governor’s office,” he said.

Bradford was referring to a story in The Democrat earlier in the week, which quoted Natchez Dr. Blane Mire, who discussed with the city’s Board of Aldermen effects the COVID-19 virus is having here. Mire discussed things we can anticipate if we do not take seriously advice to stay at home.

Mire’s comments as a Natchez physician on the front lines of this medical crisis were factual and accurate. Mire’s goal in speaking out was to present facts to Natchez and Adams County residents about what we are facing medically and what we can do to stave off the worst result here. Mire clearly is an expert and we owe him thanks for speaking out about this issue.

Bradford seems more intent on making nice with state bureaucrats and politicians than in providing needed information and guidance to this community.

“…if we get on news outlets and start blasting that we are not getting supplies and stuff like that, that puts a bad taste in the upper echelon like we are not doing out jobs…If you start getting disdain with MEMA and stuff like that there you’ll start getting put toward the backburner,” Bradford said. “We’ve just got to have knowledge and understand how everything works. That is why everything should come from the EOC before anything gets put out because once you put it out there, you got to go on damage control and there is a lot of destruction…you just got to make sure everything is OK.”

Thank goodness our community has people like Dr. Mire who aren’t concerned about offending politicians and will tell the truth to citizens. We do not need information about this community emergency to be filtered through a county emergency management director whose intent seems to be not discussing negative information in order to make the governor happy.

Thank goodness for the leadership of Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell, who early on formed a task force of community experts, which is working toward providing much needed factual information and fact-based guidance to keep Natchez citizens as safe as possible during this crisis. Now more than ever, the mayor’s task force is so important to this community.

We doubt seriously when push comes to shove Gov. Tate Reeves and his MEMA director are going to punish Natchez and Adams County because they don’t like the fact that Natchez leadership isn’t working to simply put a happy face on this disaster.

As the good book says, the truth will set us free. In this case, the truth may allow us all to live a little longer.