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The State of Louisiana started making their way into COVID-19 reopening yesterday as Governor John Bel Edwards moved Louisiana into Phase 3 of reopening. That Phase 3 will start today, opening most businesses up to 75% occupancy, opening all bars to at least 25% capacity, and paving the way for festivals and concerts to return.

However, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced last night that her city would NOT be moving to Phase 3 with the rest of the state. This continues the Mayor's long running COVID fight with Governor John Bel Edwards, where Mayor Cantrell has often pushed back against the State during the pandemic shutdowns.

"I find this laughable," says KEEL's Greg Atoms, reacting to Cantrell's Phase II extension, "LaToya the Destroya has been pushing back against (Edwards) any time he tries to open up the state. Last night, as the Governor was moving the state into Phase III of the economic reopening, she announced that New Orleans would remain in her restrictive version of Phase II.

"But the way that she did it is actually the issue. She's not in New Orleans right now. She's on vacation at a retreat in the Caribbean. While she continues to lock her city down, she is on vacation."

Its not interesting that Mayor Cantrell defied the Governor again, it's interesting HOW Cantrell announced the defiance. Earlier this week the Mayor's Office announced that Mayor Cantrell would be in the Caribbean for a high-end "retreat" until Saturday. This vacation retreat is part of the Aspen Institute, who lists the price tag for similar events at more than $12,000 per person. The event Mayor Cantrell is attending is taking place in the US Virgin Islands.

Looking at the Aspen Institute's "sample schedule", the Mayor has the option to take part in one seminar each day, and then the rest of the Aspen Institute schedule is filled with private meals and free time.

The release of Cantrell's decision must have come during that "free time" from the Aspen Institute vacation.

While the rest of Louisiana moves into Phase 3 of economic reopening, live music and bars will be returning to the state. However New Orleans will have to stay in a more restrictive lockdown, keeping their bars closed, and the live music silenced in the Louisiana city who could probably use the boost the most.

Read More: Who are the Early Favorites to be Louisiana's Next Governor?

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