Vacations in Mexico, Thanksgiving dinner and an election party. These are just some of the reasons why officials have apologized in recent months for violating the suspension rules.
Gubernators and mayors have announced restrictions to help stop the spread of coronavirus during the pandemic.
Some may not have played by their own rules, however.
The republican governors have faced fewer accusations, mainly because they have not implemented as many of the restrictions demanded by health experts.
One, Kevin Stitt of the Oklahoma government, faced a backlash after tweeting that he had taken his family to a “full” restaurant in March, the day before the state of emergency was declared.
All of these well-known personalities were accused of violating anti-COVID guidelines. Some have apologized, others have confessed to their actions. Here is the summary…
The Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler
In early November, as the number of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths increased, Adler urged residents of Austin, Texas, to stay home and “not relax” in the face of the pandemic.
However, as it later turned out, Adler had called for a rally during his week-long vacation in Mexico.
He had gone to Cabo San Lucas with seven other people, the Austin American-Statesman first reported after his daughter’s outdoor wedding and reception with 20 guests in a hotel in Austin.
At that time, people in Austin were asked not to gather in groups of 10 or more, but there were no travel bans.
Adler told the local newspaper: “The safest thing to do is to stay at home. However, we do not ask people to never venture out. We ask everyone to be as safe as possible when they do”.
Denver Mayor, Michael Hancock
Mexico was not the only controversial goal of the mayors on this Thanksgiving Day.
“Pass the potatoes, not Covid… Avoid travel,” Hancock wrote last week while sitting in an airport on his way to a family reunion in Mississippi.
Just before boarding the plane, he also advised his followers to “avoid travel when possible,” “stay at home as much as possible,” and “hold virtual meetings instead of personal dinners.
Later he apologized. “I have made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask your forgiveness for decisions made from my heart and not from my head,” he said. His spokesman said Hancock would be self-isolating for 14 days after his return.
Government of California Gavin Newsom
California Governor Newsom apologized last month after he was photographed in an upscale restaurant in Napa Valley with a group of prominent lobbyists.
The pictures, first published in the San Francisco Chronicle, showed no one, including representatives of the California Medical Association, wearing face masks at the Michelin-starred French Laundry, where some plates cost $450.
Government guidelines limited private gatherings to three outdoor households, but those for restaurants were less defined. They said owners should “limit the number of guests at a single table to one household unit or guests who have asked to sit together”.
“As soon as I sat down at the larger table, I realized that it was a slightly larger group than I had expected and I made a terrible mistake,” Newsom said about the dinner at the French Laundry. “Instead of sitting down, I should have gotten up and walked back, got in my car and driven back to my house.
The Governor recently quarantined himself after a student tested positive for COVID at his child’s school.
The mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser
Bowser was accused of violating her own travel rules to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his election victory last month. The Democrats made an approximately 90-mile trip to Delaware, where Biden resided, to celebrate.
At the time, Delaware was one of 42 states classified by D.C. as high-risk, i.e. residents who traveled to such a state should restrict their daily activities and monitor themselves for 14 days. However, the policy excludes essential travel.
Bowser rejected the quarantine and defended the trip on the grounds that it was a “necessary trip.
Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo
Texas Mayor Sam Liccardo apologized this week for attending a Thanksgiving dinner attended by seven other family members.
A total of five households attended the dinner – more than the rules allowed. Earlier this month, California mandated that social gatherings be limited to a maximum of three.
NBC first reported that Liccardo celebrated Thanksgiving with his elderly parents at their home in Saratoga with an unknown group of people.
After the revelations, the California Mayor said, “I apologize for my decision to gather against state rules by attending this Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I understand my obligation as a public official to ensure exemplary compliance with health regulations and not to ignore them under any circumstances. I am committed to making it better”.
Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot defended her decision to have her hair cut by a professional stylist in April when the salons were closed due to state house rules.
The Democrats had previously said that it was not absolutely necessary to “take care of your roots.
A few days after the controversy broke out, she said: “I am the public face of this city. I am in the national media and I am in the public eye.”
Government of New York Andrew M. Cuomo
He did not break the rules. But, as some argue, he came mighty close.
Before Thanksgiving, the governor warned his fellow New Yorkers that family reunions could be dangerous given the growing number of cases in the US.
But his interview with radio station WAMC just before the holidays caused a stir.
“My mother is coming up with two of my girls,” he said. These are his 89-year-old mother, Matilda, and two of his daughters, one of whom lives in Chicago.
His comments were met with a backlash, and Cuomo cancelled his plans.