Austinites were vocal after news broke that their mayor, Steve Adler, failed to follow his own pandemic advice.
Adler hosted an outdoor wedding and reception with 20 guests for his daughter downtown in early November, Austin American-Statesman reporter Tony Plohetski reported on Wednesday. The next morning, Adler and seven other attendees traveled by private jet to Cabo San Lucas, where they vacationed at a family timeshare, according to the newspaper.
Publicly, the mayor was asking Austinites to stay home as the COVID-19 caseloads in Austin and around the state climbed upward. "You need to stay home if you can," he said during a pre-recorded video message posted to his Facebook page on Nov. 9. "This is not the time to relax."
The next week, local health officials recommended a return to Stage 4, according to Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines.
Adler has since expressed regret in a statement. But it did little to stop the flood of comments online.
Criticism came in from his opponents.
@MayorAdler I'd like to report a gathering of more than 10, which breaks the COVID rules outlined in the attached c… https://t.co/oD956eg6w5— Brad Swail (@Brad Swail)1606941690.0
NOT A JOKE: Austin Mayor Tells Residents to ‘Stay Home’ While Vacationing in Mexico After Wedding https://t.co/0hA1TfFHXv— Sean Hannity (@Sean Hannity)1606945600.0
Many of his supporters were also unhappy.
I say this as someone who is very happy with a few of the stances he has taken: Mayor Adler should resign. He of c… https://t.co/sX8pU9uZAJ— Austin Transit Blog (@Austin Transit Blog)1606946021.0
Unfortunately, it appears this applies to Mayor Adler as well. By violating his own COVID advice, he's likely hurt… https://t.co/ptZf5PcaoX— Pay People To Stay Home #PPTSH (@Pay People To Stay Home #PPTSH)1606942890.0
Yeah I’ve given @MayorAdler the benefit of the doubt and fought off the “Recall Adler” crowd, but straight up, this… https://t.co/F6F2pKPWke— C (@C)1606938784.0
Some expressed frustration about the sacrifices many have made—including forgoing vacations and family events—because of the pandemic.
More than 200 people had commented on a news story about the incident on Reddit's Everything Austin channel.(Reddit)
Some called for Adler to resign.
Adler needs to resign.— Maybe: Dago (@Maybe: Dago)1606940403.0
The incident has drawn comparisons to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who attended a birthday party at the Michelin starred French Laundry restaurant in the Napa Valley last month; the incident was covered by national outlets.
Other local officials have come under fire for similar reasons.
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravel pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor last month for violating his own stay-at-home order earlier this year. And the Travis County GOP hosted a fundraiser in August that was attended by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Reps Dan Crenshaw and Chip Roy, among others, and prompted an investigation by local officials.
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