San Jose’s Democrat Mayor Sam Liccardo has issued an apology after he failed to take his own advice and celebrated Thanksgiving with people outside of his immediate household, despite urging residents to “cancel the big gatherings” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In his apology, Liccardo said his Thanksgiving arrangement with his family was “contrary to the rules” established by the state.
“In summary, eight of us representing five households sat around three distanced tables in our own family groups on the back patio, and we wore masks when not eating,” Liccardo wrote in a lengthy statement. “I have a very large family—I am one of five children—and several of our family members who would have joined us for Thanksgiving in the past—including sisters, nephews, nieces and cousins—stayed home out of caution.”
“I apologize for my decision to gather contrary to state rules by attending this Thanksgiving meal with my family,” he added. “I understand my obligation as a public official to provide exemplary compliance with the public health orders, and certainly not to ignore them. I commit to do better.”
The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit reported Tuesday that Liccardo broke county health protocols and spent the holiday with “his elderly parents at their Saratoga home with an unknown number of other guests.”
The anti-Trump mayor’s press team said that Liccardo would spend the holiday “staying home,” yet his office later claimed that the spokesperson “misspoke” and confirmed that he spent the holiday at his parents’ home.
According to the outlet, Liccardo’s chief of staff Jim Reed said the mayor and others “practiced social distancing while gathering and eating outside.”
“This is a private event — not public,” Reed said, according to the outlet. “We are going to redraw the line between what is personal and what is public because that line has become blurred.”