MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) – A state senator has asked the governor to shut down businesses not following state COVID-19 guidelines and sent photos of a recent biker bar concert as an example of “recklessness.”
State Sen. Dick Harpootlian (D-20th) sent a letter to Gov. McMaster on Monday asking him to urge DHEC to close businesses that allow people to gather unsafely.
Harpootlian said only DHEC has the power to close businesses for violating public health standards, and local governments have no such power.
The senator asked McMaster to consider some photos being circulated on social media from a concert Saturday night at the bar called Suck Bang Blow.
“This is precisely the type of super spreader event I urged DHEC last week to stop,” Harpootlian wrote.
“No face masks, no distancing. If there were 300 people in attendance (for example), our 20 percent positive statewide average on COVID-19 testing suggests approximately 60 of those in attendance were carrying the virus. Those they had contact with went home, perhaps to the next town over, with a chance of spreading it to family, friends and coworkers,” Hapootlian says in the letter.
“Convening such an event in the name of profit was recklessness. Allowing it in the first place is a failure of government,” he wrote.
The concert was part of the 81st annual Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally that usually happens on the third week in May, but was postponed because of the “Home-or-Work” order. The week was much quieter than previous years with only 15 vendor permits issued compared to 50-plus in past years. Temperatures soared into a triple-digit heat index and fewer bikers were seen.
The biker bar posted live videos from the concert and throughout the week on its Facebook page.