Austin’s mayor told people to stay home. He was vacationing in Cabo after hosting his daughter’s wedding.

When the number of new coronavirus cases in Texas began to rise in early November, the mayor of Austin urged residents to avoid socializing and traveling, especially as the holiday season approached.



Steve Adler wearing a suit and tie: In this March 2020, file photo, Austin Mayor Steve Adler speaks during a news conference in Austin. Adler took a vacation to Mexico with family in November at a time when he was urging people to “stay home if you can.”


© Ricardo B. Brazziell/AP
In this March 2020, file photo, Austin Mayor Steve Adler speaks during a news conference in Austin. Adler took a vacation to Mexico with family in November at a time when he was urging people to “stay home if you can.”

“We need to stay home if you can,” Mayor Steve Adler (D) said in a Nov. 9 video. “We need to try to keep those numbers down. This is not the time to relax.”

Days before he offered that warning, Adler had hosted at a downtown hotel for his daughter and about 20 guests. Then, he and eight wedding guests took a private jet to Cabo San Lucas, where they stayed together in a timeshare.

After the Austin American-Statesman first reported Adler’s trip, which he had not previously disclosed to the public, the mayor apologized Wednesday for taking the trip to Mexico and setting a poor example as coronavirus cases spiked across Texas.

“I regret that travel,” Adler said in a video he posted to Facebook on Wednesday evening. “I wouldn’t travel now, I didn’t over Thanksgiving, and I won’t over Christmas. And no one should.”

His mea culpa is the latest in a string of apologies from public officials across the U.S. this week, after several city and state leaders have been caught flouting their own coronavirus warnings by dining out and attending parties after issuing guidance discouraging the public from doing those same activities.

California Democrats urged people to stay home — and then did the opposite at restaurants and holiday parties

Texas broke the nationwide record for new coronavirus cases reported in a day about two weeks after Adler posted the Nov. 9 video, when it reported 16,100 new cases on Nov. 25, about 1,000 more than the previous record. (California reported 18,350 new cases that same day, also breaking the previous record.)

Some areas of the Lone Star State have been hit harder than others. Near the border with Mexico and New Mexico, El Paso has resorted to airlifting patients to other cities as its hospitals have been overwhelmed with critically ill people. The state paid prisoners to move hundreds of bodies to mobile morgues in the city, then it deployed National Guardsmen to help.

El Paso was still grieving when the coronavirus arrived. Now, death has overwhelmed it.

As of early Thursday, more than 9,000 people are hospitalized with covid in Texas.

Yet even as the numbers mount, officials in the state have been inconsistent in enacting and enforcing coronavirus restrictions.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, a Democrat, ordered a shutdown of the hard-hit city, but El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, both Republicans, challenged the legality of those restrictions.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) declared last month that he

Read more

As mayor urged Austin to ‘stay home,’ he was vacationing in Mexico following daughter’s wedding

In November, Austin Mayor Steve Adler hosted his daughter’s wedding and vacationed with a group of people in Mexico.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Mayor Steve 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.

During a Facebook video message posted Nov. 9, Adler said, “We need to stay home if you can…We need to keep the numbers down. Now is not the time to relax.”

You can watch the video here:


The mayor confirmed that when the video was recorded, he was in Mexico on vacation with eight people, including immediate and extended family, after flying from Austin on a private jet. 

Two days earlier, Adler hosted a wedding and reception at Hotel Saint Cecilia, a South Congress Avenue hotel, for his daughter with 20 guests.

At the time, Austin was under Stage 3 guidelines, which suggest no gatherings of more than 10 people.

The mayor said he consulted with Austin’s top health authority, Dr. Mark Escott. 

Adler said he held the event outdoors. 

Guests had to maintain social distancing, he said, and the bride and groom gave out masks. 

Attendees had to get a COVID-19 test prior to attending, he said. 

Several wedding attendees flew to Austin from across the U.S., including a Seattle-based wedding photographer. 

“It’s not perfect,” Adler said in an interview this week. “Obviously there are infections that could happen. But what we did was stay compliant with the rules.”

The next day, eight of those wedding attendees, including Adler and both immediate and extended family members, departed for their trip to Cabo. 

The day after they left, Escott issued a public warning: “If you are going to go out to a restaurant, go out with your family, the people who live in your household, not the family or friends who don’t live in your household. And start to decrease those travels outside of your home that are not necessary.”

At the time, the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 was below 4%, and although cases were rising, they spiked after Adler’s trip. 

Under state guidelines, which supersede any local guidelines, “wedding receptions held outdoors are strongly recommended and are not subject to an occupancy

Read more

What were Austin’s COVID-19 numbers like when Mayor Adler hosted his daughter’s wedding?

Data shows local COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions were ticking up in the days leading up to Adler’s daughter’s wedding and the Mexico vacation that followed.

AUSTIN, Texas — The KVUE Defenders have confirmed that in early November, Austin Mayor Steve Adler hosted his daughter’s wedding in Austin, then vacationed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with a group of eight people, including immediate and extended family.

Both the wedding and the vacation happened just as top health officials began urging families not to gather with others outside their households, and Adler himself asked people to stay home if they could. 

Adler confirmed that the wedding and reception – held on Nov. 7 at Hotel Saint Cecilia on South Congress Avenue – had 20 guests in attendance. At the time, the city was under Stage 3 guidelines, which suggest no gatherings of more than 10 people.

WATCH: Amid COVID-19, Austin mayor says ‘stay home’ in video recorded on vacation in Mexico


KVUE dug into Austin’s COVID-19 numbers in the days leading up to the wedding and in the weeks that followed.

In late October, Austin was averaging a little less than 90 new COVID-19 cases per day. To start November, that number climbed to the mid-90s. By the day of the wedding, the city was averaging up to around 125 cases.

By comparison, that number rose to 300 a few days before Thanksgiving.

As for hospital admissions – the metric that the City’s guidelines are based on – that number was under 20 and falling at the end of October. But hospital admissions quickly started climbing to 25 by the day of the wedding and continued increasing to 37 by Thanksgiving.

Below is the graph for the hospital admissions average on Nov. 7, the day of the wedding:

Travis County man accused of throwing baby against a wall while ‘blacked out’ on Xanax, affidavit says

Nate Paul, World Class properties acquired in foreclosure sale

Gov. Abbott: 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed to Texas this month

Source Article

Read more

Austin Mayor Reportedly Hosted Wedding, Traveled To Mexico While Telling Constituents ‘We Need To Stay Home’

Topline

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who has been a vocal advocate of social distancing to keep coronavirus cases down in Texas’ capital city, was reported by local media Wednesday to have hosted a wedding for his daughter in early November with 20 guests, twice the recommended limit under the city’s coronavirus guidelines at the time, and to have vacationed in Mexico as he encouraged residents to “stay home if you can,” a move called hypocritical by some Austinites.

Key Facts

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Adler and seven other guests at the wedding traveled on a private jet to Cabo, Mexico the day after the wedding, where the Statesman reports the mayor recorded a video encouraging Austin residents to hunker down at home to prevent a rise in coronavirus cases: “We need to stay home if you can. This is not the time to relax,” he said.

However, Adler maintains that he did not violate his own orders, telling the newspaper he consulted health authorities before the wedding, had guests tested for coronavirus, gave out masks and encouraged social distancing—he also said his travel party in Cabo was in a “pod” and following safety precautions, and at the time, Austin coronavirus guidelines were not yet discouraging travel.

This week, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Florida Gov. Gavin Newsom found themselves in hot water after it was revealed they had dinner at the same Michelin-starred Napa restaurant French Laundry within a day of each other, despite state guidelines that strongly discourage gatherings of people from multiple households, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock also apologized on social media Monday for traveling to spend Thanksgiving with family in Mississippi after he told his constituents to stay home. 

In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced nationwide blowback after a trip to a hair salon that should have been closed under California state orders, which Pelosi and a hair stylist involved said was a setup by a business owner angry over coronavirus closings.

Crucial Quote

“I regret this travel,” Adler said in a statement released after the story made headlines. “I wouldn’t travel now, didn’t over Thanksgiving and won’t over Christmas. But my fear is that this travel, even happened during a safer period, could be used by some as a justification for risky behavior. In hindsight, and even though it violated no order, it set a bad example for which I apologize.”

Key Background

A fall surge in coronavirus infections nationwide is expected to be exacerbated by Thanksgiving gatherings and travel. While widespread vaccination may be possible as early as summer 2021, health experts are urging Americans to continue social distancing, wearing masks and getting tested for coronavirus to battle the disease in the meantime. 

Further Reading

Austin mayor stressed residents ‘need to stay home.’ He was vacationing in Cabo at the time (Austin American-Statesman

Read more

Austin Mayor Steve Adler urged residents to stay home while vacationing

Need to stay updated on coronavirus news in Texas? Our evening roundup will help you stay on top of the day’s latest updates. Sign up here.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has confirmed to the KVUE 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.

During a Facebook video message posted Nov. 9, Adler said, “We need to stay home if you can…We need to keep the numbers down. Now is not the time to relax.”

The mayor confirmed that when the video was recorded, he was in Mexico on vacation with eight people, including immediate and extended family, after flying from Austin on a private jet.

Two days earlier, Adler hosted a wedding and reception at Hotel Saint Cecilia, a South Congress Avenue hotel, for his daughter with 20 guests.

At the time, Austin was under Stage 3 guidelines, which suggest no gatherings of more than 10 people.

The mayor said he consulted with Austin’s top health authority, Dr. Mark Escott.

Adler said he held the event outdoors.

Guests had to maintain social distancing, he said, and the bride and groom gave out masks.

Attendees had to get a COVID-19 test prior to attending, he said.

Several wedding attendees flew to Austin from across the U.S., including a Seattle-based wedding photographer.

“It’s not perfect,” Adler said in an interview this week. “Obviously there are infections that could happen. But what we did was stay compliant with the rules.”

The next day, eight of those wedding attendees, including Adler and both immediate and extended family members, departed for their trip to Cabo.

The day after they left, Escott issued a public warning: “If you are going to go out to a restaurant, go out with your family, the people who live in your household, not the family or friends who don’t live in your household. And start to decrease those travels outside of your home that are not necessary.”

At the time, the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 was below 4%, and although cases were rising, they spiked after Adler’s trip.

Under state guidelines, which supersede any local guidelines, “wedding receptions held outdoors are strongly recommended and are not subject to an occupancy limit.”

The week after Adler returned, on Nov. 19, the city raised the

Read more

Illinois mayor Steve Chirico shamed for maskless wedding

A bride holds a bouquet

A bride holds a bouquet

KRT/Miami Herald file

We all miss travel, and people and friends, and doing actual things that involve standing less than six feet from other humans without a face covering.

But experts in the science and medical community are telling us not to, at least for the time being. So that’s why those who are in the public eye who partake in maskless celebrations get duly roasted.

The latest politician to be COVID shamed is Steve Chirico, mayor of Naperville, Illinois.

Last weekend, Chirico apparently attended his daughter’s wedding in Naples, Florida, and even posted a picture smiling ear to ear maskless with a group of other nonmasked folks, including one child.

Who brought his pandemic-related misdeeds to light? The mayor’s very own niece, who was either not invited, or just decided not to go.

“I can’t believe I have to say this but if you are HAVING A WEDDING THIS WEEKEND WITH UNMASKED PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE something is wrong with you!!!!” blasted food blogger Kristen Chirico of the controversial snap of her uncle.

As the post quickly spread, many commenters were surprised the journalist would rat out her own family.

“I actually don’t need to protect these people, because they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong,” she fumed. “Maybe they’ll be mad but also maybe we might save some lives so I’m willing to roll the dice on this.”

A Naperville woman Holly Hootman retweeted Chirico’s rant with the snap in question and called him out because he recently proposed a mask mandate.

The mayor later sent out a statement defending his actions.

“My family and I all took COVID tests and tested negative prior to traveling to Florida this weekend for my daughter Jenna’s wedding,” it said. “It was an outdoor wedding and reception with a total of 53 guests. Upon my return to Naperville, I will be quarantining and testing again.”

It was unclear the following Monday if Chirico or any guests had since tested positive for coronavirus. Florida’s Department of Health confirmed 6,659 additional cases, pushing the Sunshine State closer to the one-million mark.

Celebrity/real time news reporter Madeleine Marr has been with The Miami Herald since 2003. She has covered such features as travel, fashion and food. In 2007, she helped launch the newspaper’s daily People Page, attending red carpet events, awards ceremonies and press junkets; interviewing some of the biggest names in show business; and hosting her own online show. She is originally from New York City and has two daughters.

Source Article

Read more

YouTuber niece of Illinois mayor criticizes uncle for attending wedding amid Covid-19 surge

The internet celebrity niece of an Illinois mayor criticized her uncle on Sunday for attending a family wedding in Florida.

Kristin Chirico, former BuzzFeed personality and co-host of YouTube’s “The Kitchen & Jorn Show,” said Naperville mayor Steve Chirico was “not sorry” for his actions, which were a “tremendous insult” to the community.

“He should be held accountable,” Chirico tweeted on Sunday, addressing organizers in Naperville. “Demand updates. You belong in this community, too. Your safety matters. YOU matter. I’m rooting for you.”

Chirico did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Her statement came after a widely circulated photo on social media showed Steve Chirico standing close together with his family at his daughter’s wedding — none of whom wore masks.

Steve Chirico confirmed to NBC News in an email that he traveled to Florida for his daughter’s outdoor wedding and reception, which had a total of 53 guests.

“My family and I all took COVID tests and tested negative prior to traveling to Florida this weekend for my daughter Jenna’s wedding,” he said in a statement. “Upon my return to Naperville, I will be quarantining and testing again.”

His niece wasn’t the only one to criticize the mayor.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker voiced his concerns at a daily coronavirus briefing on Monday, saying people were not following public health measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, NBC Chicago reported.

“I even saw a story about a mayor here in Illinois who flew to Florida for a wedding, didn’t wear a mask, and the wedding had more than 50 people and that’s the kind of thing — that’s precisely what we ask people not to do,” Pritzker said.

The controversy came as Covid-19 cases were on the rise in all 50 states. The mayor’s trip also followed a warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention telling Americans not to travel for the holidays.

As of Tuesday, DuPage County, where Naperville is located, reported more than 41,000 cases and 748 deaths since the pandemic began in March, according to the Johns Hopkins Covid-19 dashboard.

Chirico tweeted on Saturday that her uncle and his immediate family did not believe “they’ve done anything wrong.”

She added that she was initially hesitant to publicly speak out against her uncle, but “like… people are dying, Kim,” referencing a meme from “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

Source Article

Read more

Brooklyn synagogue that held crowded, secret wedding to be fined $15,000: Mayor de Blasio

As coronavirus cases continue to surge across New York City, a Brooklyn synagogue will be slapped with a $15,000 fine for hosting a huge wedding in violation of restrictions aimed at reducing the COVID infection rate, Mayor de Blasio said Monday.

“We know there was a wedding. We know it was too big. We don’t have an exact figure, but whatever it was, it was too big,” Hizzoner said on NY1. “There appeared to be a real effort to conceal it, which is absolutely unacceptable.”



a group of people standing on a sidewalk: NYPD officers speak with community members briefly outside a synagogue in the Brooklyn borough of New York.


© John Minchillo
NYPD officers speak with community members briefly outside a synagogue in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

NYPD officers speak with community members briefly outside a synagogue in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (John Minchillo/)

Video: Mayor De Blasio Speaks At Brooklyn Church (CBS New York)

Mayor De Blasio Speaks At Brooklyn Church

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

He’d been asked about a published report describing thousands of attendees at the Nov. 8 wedding of a top rabbi’s grandson in the Yetev Lev temple in Williamsburg.

“There is going to be a summons for $15,000 immediately for that site,” de Blasio said. “And there could be additional consequences quite soon, as well. That’s just not acceptable.”

The wedding came after the state imposed a 10-person limit on private gatherings and as the city is grappling with an alarming surge in COVID cases.



a close up of a man wearing a suit and tie: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio


© Bryan Thomas
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Earlier Monday, de Blasio said the entire city could be declared an “orange zone” as soon as next week, shutting down non-essential businesses and putting an end to indoor dining.

“We’ve got to fight back the second wave. We still can. We get through these holidays, we have a chance to really turn the corner, but it’s up to every one of us,” he said at a press conference.

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico draws coronavirus criticism for going to Florida for daughter’s nuptials

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico found himself in an online family feud of sorts after attending his daughter’s wedding in Florida just a week after warning his suburban constituents that a mask mandate might be in order to combat a surge of the coronavirus.

The suburban mayor was publicly shamed by his niece, a former BuzzFeed personality, who tweeted that she was “fuming” after learning her uncle traveled to Naples, Florida, to attend the wedding, which she said included at least 50 guests.

“I can’t believe I have to say this but if you are HAVING A WEDDING THIS WEEKEND WITH UNMASKED PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE something is wrong with you!!!!” Kristin Chirico tweeted Saturday.

A photo allegedly of the mayor and others at the wedding also appeared on Twitter. None of the people in it were wearing masks.

The father of the bride pushed back against the wedding zinger.

“My family and I all took COVID tests and tested negative prior to traveling to Florida this weekend for my daughter Jenna’s wedding,” Mayor Chirico said in a statement issued Sunday. “It was an outdoor wedding and reception with a total of 53 guests. Upon my return to Naperville, I will be quarantining and testing again.”

People from both ends of the political spectrum weighed in on the suburban mayor’s decision to attend the wedding.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker criticized the mayor during his coronavirus briefing Monday, saying “that’s precisely what we ask people not to do.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker conducts a virtual daily briefing on COVID-19 on Monday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker conducts a virtual daily briefing on COVID-19 on Monday.
BlueRoomStream

Former Republican gubernatorial and congressional candidate Jeanne Ives said in a Facebook post Steve Chirico “is proving to be just like all the other hypocrite Democrats in this state.

“More egregious is when he took a knee to a mob of people he didn’t know this summer insinuating that he sided with them against policing and then afterwards he allowed his city to be vandalized by thugs,” the post reads in part. “Total disgrace.”

Steve Chirico, who was first elected mayor of the state’s third largest city in 2015, told the Daily Herald in September he’s been a Republican his entire life, though he backed Democratic challenger Joe Biden over President Donald Trump in this month’s election.

The mayor’s Facebook page includes numerous posts about COVID-19 precautions, including photos of him with the slogan “Safer at Home” and written postings and a YouTube video of him urging residents to “Please follow the 3Ws: WEAR a mask, WATCH your distance and WASH your hands.”

At a virtual town hall meeting last week, the mayor said the suburb was considering a city ordinance mandating face coverings to fight the spread of the coronavirus even though there’d be “a lot of criticism for it,” the Daily Herald reported.

With their eyes on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, Pritzker and Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the head of the state’s public health department, have repeatedly asked the state’s residents to continue to wear their masks and keep their distance

Read more
  • Partner links