Austin mayor went to Mexico while urging people to stay home
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Austin Mayor Steve Adler went on vacation to Mexico with family in November as he urged people to stay home amid worsening coronavirus caseloads in Texas, at one point recording a video during the trip in which he told residents back home that now was “not the time to relax."
The trip revealed Wednesday by the Austin American-Statesman is the latest example of a public official who has pleaded for vigilance in the face of rising cases and hospitalizations across the U.S. seeming to not heed their own guidance.
Hours after the story was published, Adler issued a statement apologizing for the trip.
"While I violated no orders or guidelines, I regret this travel," Adler said. “I wouldn’t travel now, didn’t over Thanksgiving and won’t over Christmas. But 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, it set a bad example, for which I apologize."
Last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom came under scrutiny for attending a birthday party at a posh restaurant in the wine country near San Francisco as he urged people to stay within their own households. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also flew to Mississippi to visit family for Thanksgiving despite sending messages on social media and to city staff asking them to avoid traveling for the holiday.
“There was no recommendation for people not to travel during that period of time,” Adler told the newspaper. “Someone could look at me and say, ‘He traveled.’ But what they could not say is that I traveled at a time when I was telling other people not to travel.”
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