The CEO of Waffle House revealed that there has been “zero evidence” of any coronavirus spread across any of the chain’s more than 2,000 locations in the nation.
Walter Ehmer called out the “devastating impact” on the American people that the coronavirus lockdowns have had, discussing the restrictions being imposed on restaurants during an interview with Fox News on Sunday. The breakfast chain’s CEO noted that Waffle House has “proven” that the data doesn’t support the strict orders being implemented by local and state governments.
“Are the lockdowns you all are facing now making sense given the science?” Fox News’ Leland Vittert, co-anchor of “America’s News Headquarters,” asked Ehmer Sunday as Congress was debating the latest coronavirus relief bill.
“I don’t think it makes sense at all,” Ehmer replied. “And what the data is now starting to show us is that shutting down restaurant dining rooms virtually has no impact on reducing the spread.”
(Source: Fox News)
“And what it does have is a certain devastating impact on the millions of people in this industry that look to restaurants to provide their livelihood for their families, to put roofs over their head and, at this time of year, to buy Christmas presents for their kids,” Ehmer added.
“It’s having a devastating impact on people and yet there’s no data to indicate that it’s helping to reduce the spread,” he contended.
Ehmer admitted he does not understand the insistence by governors and mayors to shut down indoor dining and implement more restrictions on restaurants in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“I think it’s a very visible thing. It’s wrong to pick out certain people, certain businesses to say these are essential and these are not. Every job is essential to the person that has it,” he said, adding that leadership isn’t serving Americans well by singling out one industry or another.
The restaurant industry has “likely fallen into a double-dip recession,” according to the National Restaurant Association, which reported that eateries sales are “more than $12 billion – or 19% – below their pre-coronavirus levels in January and February.”
In discussing the issue of financial relief from the government, Ehmer noted that it is not an ideal long-term solution.
“The government cannot substitute for someone’s entire ability to earn a living for themselves,” he said. “Our people want to work. We are in our restaurants every day side by side with our people, they want to work. We have customers that want to eat with us.”
“And we have proven over these 9 months, we have zero evidence of any spread being traced back to our restaurants for our people or our customers,” he emphasized.
Vittert interrupted to drive home the statement, asking Ehmer to confirm that across all of the 2,100 Waffle House locations, there has not been a “single incident” of a coronavirus infection that could be traced back to the chain.
“Zero,” Ehmer confidently declared.
“We’ve traced back all of our infections… and it all traces back to something away from the restaurant,” he told Vittert, adding that he has spoke to other restaurant CEOs who are reporting the same thing.
“They are not finding spread being traced back to their dining rooms,” he revealed.
“We are disproportionately hurting American people who are wanting to work for no data and no science that ties back to that being a dangerous place,” he added. “And if you look at even the infection rate of our population, the tens of thousands of people that we hire, the population that works for Waffle House has an infection rate that’s far below the national average.”
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