Financial guru Dave Ramsey, whose advice is practically gospel in the evangelical Christian community, was planning a business conference next week… but like so many other in-person events, it was cancelled by the Florida Marriott hotel hosting it, since coronavirus cases are spiking across the state.
Seems like a responsible, if disappointing, decision for everyone involved. The attendees won’t get to enjoy their conference. And the hotel misses out on a lot of revenue.
But according to the Nashville Scene, neither Ramsey nor his company are taking the virus seriously. Internal company emails show Ramsey’s executive vice president Daniel Tardy lashing out against Marriott’s decision:
“Today we were told by our host hotel, Marriott, that they have chosen to stop partnering with us and being solution oriented on delivering a great guest experience because of their myopic take on COVID stuff. I’ll spare you the details but trust me when I say they are being immature, transactional and irrational.”
Perhaps we can write that off. They’re frustrated. They’re expressing that anger via private emails. Understandable, right?
Except Ramsey’s team is still moving forward with the event, at their own headquarters in Tennessee, which also happens to be another hotspot for the coronavirus. While livestreaming is available for those who would rather stay home, the company has been silent about any precautionary measures they’ll take for people who choose to attend the live event.
This isn’t even the first time that Ramsey has endangered his employees since the virus took over life as we know it:
In March, Ramsey kept his company’s offices open after an employee tested positive for the virus, even though large gatherings were being discouraged by public health officials at the time. Staffers and people with loved ones at the company say the company has continued to hold large in-person staff meetings in recent months and is ignoring guidance, and even mandates, about masks.
Ramsey’s behavior is reprehensible on a moral level. But from a financial standpoint, is it really a wise investment to spend money on a conference that’s likely to get you sick, leading to expensive hospital bills and an inability to do your regular job?
A more responsible guru might suggest setting that money aside for medical care — or funeral expenses.