“We need to stay home if you can. This is not the time to relax. We are going to be looking really closely. … We may have to close things down if we are not careful,” the Democrat mayor told Austin residents in a November 9 video.
He made no mention of the fact he was actually speaking from a Mexican seaside resort, where he and seven others who attended his daughter’s wedding had arrived the day prior.
The Mexico trip with family came the day after Adler hosted a small wedding for his daughter at a trendy South Congress Hotel with 20 attendees. Adler says he consulted with health authorities prior and that guests had to undergo COVID-19 testing and practice social distancing.
— Tony Plohetski (@tplohetski) December 2, 2020
After the Austin American-Statesman made this fact public, Adler released a statement apologizing.
“I regret this travel,” said his statement, quoted by the paper. “My fear is that this travel, even having happened during a safer period, could be used by some as justification for risky behavior. In hindsight, and even though it violated no order, it set a bad example for which I apologize.”
Adler denied he broke any actual rules, saying “There was no recommendation for people not to travel during that period of time.” Likewise, while his daughter’s outdoor wedding technically didn’t have an attendance cap, it had 20 people attending while Austin’s ‘Stage 3’ recommendations advised gatherings of no more than ten.
Adler has been heavily involved with Austin’s Covid-19 response, starting with canceling South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in March before any local cases were confirmed. He is not the only prominent local politician to be caught skirting either the letter or the spirit of the lockdown rules, however.
Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock literally told his residents to “stay home” and “avoid travel, if you can” just half an hour before boarding a flight to Mississippi, where he would spend Thanksgiving with family.
The phrasing of Adler’s apology echoes the words of California Governor Gavin Newsom after he was photographed dining indoors at the swanky French Laundry restaurant last month. Newsom brushed the scandal off by saying he “should have modeled better behavior.”
Last week, Los Angeles County supervisor Sheila Kuehl was photographed dining outdoors at a restaurant in Santa Monica, mere hours after she voted to ban the practice over Covid-19 safety concerns.
Back in September, Fox News aired security camera footage from a San Francisco beauty salon, showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) maskless inside the establishment. Pelosi accused the salon owner of “setting her up” and the business soon closed down.
Since March, Democrat governors, mayors and local officials have been on the forefront of implementing strict lockdowns, mask mandates and other measures to curb Covid-19 across the US, and calling for such actions to be enforced nationally.
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