Austin, Texas, Mayor Steve Adler (D) urged residents to “stay home” in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus while vacationing in Mexico following his daughter’s wedding.
Adler has confirmed to the KVUE Defenders that, after hosting his daughter’s wedding, he vacationed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, last month with a group of people. Both happened in early November, just as top health officials began urging families not to gather with others outside their households and the mayor himself asked people to stay home if they could in order to slow the number of coronavirus cases. Adler told KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski that he did not violate his own order or orders by Gov. Greg Abbott and took multiple steps to ensure the safety of his guests, including rapid COVID-19 testing. But the private actions are from a public official who has been front and center urging Austinites to take COVID-19 precautions — and he even did so while he was out of the country.
On November 9, Adler (pictured, center) urged residents during a Facebook video message, “We need to stay home if you can…We need to keep the numbers down.”
“Now is not the time to relax,” he added.
Adler admits that the video was recorded while in Mexico after traveling from Texas on a private plane. He said he was accompanied by eight people, which included family members. 48 hours prior to recording the messaging, Adler held a wedding at Hotel Saint Cecilia for his daughter. The reception is said to have been attended by 20 people.
Adler released the following statement addressing KENS5’s report.
“Every day since March, I repeat that being home is the safest place for people to be. Only at our most trying moments, like around Thanksgiving, have I asked people not to travel as part of extra precautions,” Adler said. “Several weeks ago, when my daughter cancelled her planned wedding to replace it with a COVID appropriate more private ceremony and when my family traveled, we consulted with health authorities and worked hard to model the kind of behavior I’ve asked of the community.
“We were in a lower risk ‘Yellow’ level than now. It is always safest to stay home. However, we aren’t asking people never to venture out. We ask everyone to be as safe as possible in what they do,” the mayor added. “My family and I are no exception and we’ll continue to do as I ask of our community. During Thanksgiving and as anticipated for Christmas and the New Year, we should all be especially mindful.”
Adler is the latest Democrat mayor to have been caught flouting personal pleas to avoid travel to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) flew to Mississippi to spend Thanksgiving with his family despite advising residents against traveling for the holidays if possible.
This week, Hancock called his Thanksgiving travel “hypocritical” in an apology letter to staff members.
“I recognize that my job as mayor, my job is not only to come up with safe practices for the entire city, but also to lead by an example, and I think by that measure, I failed,” he wrote. “It’s a mistake I deeply regret and deeply apologize for.”
“I have stood by science. I have worked very diligently with public health officials to make sure that what we were doing was doing exactly what we set out to do and that was to save our city. As always, I’m human. I made a mistake here, Shaun, but I hope, again, nine months of very hard work and honesty and transparency is not erased,” he added.
On Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D) attended a birthday party at the ultra-exclusive French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley just one day after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) dinned at the eatery, and 72 hours prior to outlawing indoor restaurant dining in her city.