Tag: Mayor

Austin mayor took vacation in Mexico while urging people to stay home | Austin

Austin’s mayor, Steve Adler, went on vacation to Mexico with family in November as he urged people to stay home amid worsening coronavirus caseloads in Texas, at one point recording a video during the trip in which he told residents back home that now was “not the time to relax”.

The trip, revealed on Wednesday by the Austin American-Statesman, is the latest example of a public official who has pleaded for vigilance in the face of rising cases and hospitalizations across the US seeming not to heed their own guidance. Adler, a Democrat, told the newspaper his actions did not violate his own regulations.

Last month, the California governor, Gavin Newsom, came under scrutiny for attending a birthday party at a posh restaurant in the wine country near San Francisco as he urged people to stay within their own households. Denver’s mayor, Michael Hancock, also flew to Mississippi to visit family for Thanksgiving despite sending messages on social media and to city staff asking them to avoid traveling for the holiday. He has since apologized.

“There was no recommendation for people not to travel during that period of time,” Adler told the newspaper. “Someone could look at me and say, ‘He traveled.’ But what they could not say is that I traveled at a time when I was telling other people not to travel.”

Adler did not immediately return a message Wednesday.

Texas surpassed 9,000 hospitalized virus patients this week for the first time since a deadly summer outbreak. More than 15,000 new cases were reported on Tuesday, smashing a single-day record, though state health officials attributed some of that spike to a backlog of results from the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

More than 272,000 Americans have died from Covid-19, and more than 13.8 million have been infected – more than any other country by far.

The trip to Cabo San Lucas came after Adler hosted an outdoor wedding and reception with 20 guests for his daughter at a hotel near downtown Austin, according to the newspaper. Adler said the attendees had to take a rapid Covid-19 test and maintain social distancing. He acknowledged, however, that although masks were distributed at the wedding, all guests were “probably not” wearing them all the time.

Adler typically does a nightly livestream on Facebook, and while in Mexico on 9 November, he recorded a video warning about the rising number of cases. He did not say in the video that he was on vacation.

“We need to stay home if you can,” Adler said in the video. “This is not the time to relax. We are going to be looking really closely. … We may have to close things down if we are not careful.”

After Adler returned from the trip, local health officials elevated the city’s Covid-19 guidance before the Thanksgiving holiday to stage 4, which discourages nonessential travel.

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Austin Mayor Flew to Mexico for Vacation after Advising Public to ‘Stay Home’

Austin Mayor Steve Adler has admitted he vacationed in Mexico last month despite warning residents of his city to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel to slow the spread of the coronavirus as cases continue to rise.



Austin mayor Steve Adler speaks to attendees besides the investors and executives of the Austin FC before the ground breaking ceremony at McKalla Place in Austin, Texas, September 9, 2019.


© John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports
Austin mayor Steve Adler speaks to attendees besides the investors and executives of the Austin FC before the ground breaking ceremony at McKalla Place in Austin, Texas, September 9, 2019.

While he was vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with a group of eight family members, Adler recorded a video message urging the public to stay home that was posted to his Facebook page on November 9, ABC’s Austin affiliate KVUE reported.

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“The numbers are going up, maybe getting a little bit more concerning than they have been in the past, still not in a red zone yet, but something we can see potentially happening,” Adler, a Democrat, said in his video message.

“We need to stay home if you can. Do everything you can to try to keep the numbers down. This is not the time to relax,” the mayor said.

The mayor also warned that “we may have to close things down if we’re not careful,” adding that he would like to be able to use contact tracing in order to be “surgical” about which problematic places in the city to close temporarily.

Adler, who went on vacation just after he hosted his daughter’s wedding in Austin, defended his actions, assuring that he did not violate either his own or any of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s social distancing and quarantine orders. Adler also said he took several safety precautions for his guests in Cabo San Lucas, including rapid coronavirus testing.

A day after Adler and his immediate and extended family left for Cabo, Austin’s top doctor, Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott, issued public guidance discouraging travel.

“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.”

On Tuesday, Austin-Travis County health officials reported 380 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day increase in new cases since July 21, when the country recorded 603 new cases. Hospitalizations have also risen in Austin.

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Austin mayor regrets vacation to Mexico where he filmed video instructing residents that they ‘need to stay home’

The mayor of Austin, Texas, said Wednesday that he regretted going on vacation last month to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where he filmed a Facebook video instructing residents that they “need to stay home.”



Steve Adler wearing a suit and tie: Austin mayor regrets vacation to Mexico where he filmed video instructing residents that they 'need to stay home'


© Getty Images
Austin mayor regrets vacation to Mexico where he filmed video instructing residents that they ‘need to stay home’

Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D) told The Hill in a statement that he regretted the trip after the Austin American-Statesman reported it on Wednesday.

“I regret this travel,” he said. “I wouldn’t travel now, didn’t over Thanksgiving and won’t over Christmas.”

“But my fear is that this travel, even having happened during a safer period, could be used by some as justification for risky behavior,” Adler said. “In hindsight, and even though it violated no order, it set a bad example for which I apologize.”

Adler reportedly took a private jet with seven other individuals to visit a family timeshare for a week in Cabo after holding an outdoor wedding and reception for his daughter in Austin.

A day after arriving, Adler addressed the city in a Facebook video, requesting residents stay home, according to the Statesman. In the video, he did not reveal that he was outside of the city and country.

“We need to stay home, if you can,” he said in the video at the time. “Do everything you can to try to keep the numbers down. This is not the time to relax. We are going to be looking really closely.”

“We may have to close things down if we are not careful,” Adler added.

The mayor defended his daughter’s wedding and travel to the newspaper, saying that neither broke his city coronavirus orders or Texas state orders.

The Statesman reported that at the time of the wedding comprising of 20 guests and vacation, Austin officials recommended limiting groups to no more than 10 people, that only at-risk people avoid non-essential trips.

“There was no recommendation for people not to travel during that period of time,” he told the Statesman. “Someone could look at me and say, ‘He traveled.’ But what they could not say is that I traveled at a time when I was telling other people not to travel.”

Adler said his family spent hours planning a safe wedding and vacation, and he discussed the matter with interim health director Mark Escott. At the wedding, the 20 guests took a rapid COVID-19 test and socially distanced, and masks were handed out but “probably not” worn the whole time, he told the newspaper.

When the mayor left for Mexico, the positivity rate was less than 4 percent in Austin, but increased while he was away. Mexico is one of the few countries that continues to allow Americans to enter as others have banned U.S. tourists amid the pandemic.

The week following his vacation, Austin officials raised the city to a Stage 4, which recommends residents avoid all nonessential travel.

News about Adler’s trip comes as people have increasingly

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Austin mayor urged people to ‘stay home’ from a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, where he flew in on a private jet for a vacation with eight others, according to report



Steve Adler wearing a blue shirt: Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, speaks during the American Cities Climate Challenge conference at the C40 World Mayors Summit on October 10, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ole Jensen/Getty Images


© Ole Jensen/Getty Images
Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, speaks during the American Cities Climate Challenge conference at the C40 World Mayors Summit on October 10, 2019 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Ole Jensen/Getty Images

  • The mayor of Austin, Texas, took a trip to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico on a private jet just before urging constituents to stay home as COVID-19 cases rose in the city, according to the Austin Statesman and KVUE.
  • Steve Adler also hosted a wedding for his daughter the day before the November flight, according to Tony Plohetski, the local reporter who broke the story. Twenty people attended the event.
  • Adler delivered a video address to constituents telling them to “stay home” and avoid unnecessary travel, though he did not disclose that he was doing so from Cabo.
  • “It’s not perfect,” Adler said during an interview this week, according to KVUE. “Obviously there are infections that could happen. But what we did was stay compliant with the rules.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The mayor of Austin, Texas, urged his constituents to “stay home” on a video call from a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas last month where he traveled on a private jet with eight family members and guests, according to the Austin Statesman and KVUE.

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“Stay home if you can … this is not the time to relax,” said Steve Adler in the video, which was shared Facebook on November 9. 

Adler kept the jaunt under wraps until local journalist Tony Plohetski broke the story Wednesday afternoon. The Democrat then confirmed the trip to Mexico and said he also hosted a wedding for his daughter the day before flying out for his vacation. Plohetski reported that 20 people attended the celebration.

According to Adler, neither his trip nor the wedding violated any of his own orders or Texas’ COVID-19 restrictions.

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

In his video address, the mayor gave no indication he was out of town.

He also noted some constituents “seem to be a little reticent” when reached by the city’s contact tracers.

As for the wedding, Adler said in a statement that he consulted with health officials “and worked hard to model the kind of behavior I’ve asked of the community.”

“We ask everyone to be as safe as possible in what they do,” he continued in the statement. “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.” 

As of Wednesday, more than 13.8 million Americans have tested positive for coronavirus and over 272,400 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Texas, the second worst-hit state in the US, has surpassed 1.25 million cases and 22,100 deaths.

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Denver’s mayor urged residents to avoid Thanksgiving travel. Then he flew cross-country to see family.

On Wednesday morning, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock urged residents to stay home and meet family online for Thanksgiving to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus.



Michael Hancock wearing a suit and tie: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock apologized for flying to Mississippi to see his wife and daughter soon after urging residents to avoid holiday travel. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


© David Zalubowski/AP
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock apologized for flying to Mississippi to see his wife and daughter soon after urging residents to avoid holiday travel. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“Pass the potatoes, not covid. Host virtual gatherings instead of in-person dinners,” the Democrat tweeted. “Avoid travel, if you can.”

Then, less than an hour later, Hancock boarded a flight on his way to Mississippi for Thanksgiving with his wife and daughter, his spokesman Mike Strott confirmed to The Washington Post.

The move left critics blasting Hancock for appearing to ignore his own advice at a time when the coronavirus continues to rise precipitously in Colorado.

“Our Mayor has abandoned his city during one of the most critical times we needed leadership the most,” tweeted Tay Anderson, a Denver Board of Education member.

Hours later, amid mounting blowback on social media and from local politicians, the mayor apologized.

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” he tweeted.

Hancock is the latest politician blasted this month for seeming to skirt the same restrictions that have curtailed life for millions of Americans during the worsening pandemic. Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) apologized after photos showed him at birthday party inside a high-end restaurant where no one at his table wore masks. And this week, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) canceled plans to host his 89-year-old mother and two daughters in Albany for Thanksgiving after critics noted that he had spent days pleading with New Yorkers to avoid family gatherings for the holidays.

Hancock, a three-term mayor elected in 2011 and a vice president of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors, has been an advocate for coronavirus restrictions. He has pushed residents to wear masks and last week warned that another stay-at-home order might be needed if cases keep rising in Colorado, which has seen covid-related hospitalizations rise in the past week by almost 13 percent.

He has also been vocal about limiting holiday get-togethers. At a virtual news conference on Friday, he suggested residents buy a small turkey and celebrate with their immediate family only. “Maybe next year we can all be together again,” he said. “I’m asking, I’m urging, I’m pleading with everyone. Please stay home.”

But just 30 minutes after tweeting his latest plea to avoid travel on Wednesday morning, Hancock boarded a flight, KUSA reported. Soon after, he was on his way to Houston for a layover before heading to Mississippi, where his daughter recently started a new job, he later tweeted.

After fierce backlash grew against his travels, Hancock offered a mea culpa and sought to explain his decision to fly despite his entreaties to avoid holiday travel,

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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock urged residents not to travel for Thanksgiving just before flying to Mississippi

Then, less than an hour later, Hancock boarded a flight on his way to Mississippi for Thanksgiving with his wife and daughter, his spokesman Mike Strott confirmed to The Washington Post.

The move left critics blasting Hancock for appearing to ignore his own advice at a time when the coronavirus continues to rise precipitously in Colorado.

“Our Mayor has abandoned his city during one of the most critical times we needed leadership the most,” tweeted Tay Anderson, a Denver Board of Education member.

Hours later, amid mounting blowback on social media and from local politicians, the mayor apologized.

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” he tweeted.

Hancock is the latest politician blasted this month for seeming to skirt the same restrictions that have curtailed life for millions of Americans during the worsening pandemic. Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) apologized after photos showed him at birthday party inside a high-end restaurant where no one at his table wore masks. And this week, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) canceled plans to host his 89-year-old mother and two daughters in Albany for Thanksgiving after critics noted that he had spent days pleading with New Yorkers to avoid family gatherings for the holidays.

Hancock, a three-term mayor elected in 2011 and a vice president of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors, has been an advocate for coronavirus restrictions. He has pushed residents to wear masks and last week warned that another stay-at-home order might be needed if cases keep rising in Colorado, which has seen covid-related hospitalizations rise in the past week by almost 13 percent.

He has also been vocal about limiting holiday get-togethers. At a virtual news conference on Friday, he suggested residents buy a small turkey and celebrate with their immediate family only. “Maybe next year we can all be together again,” he said. “I’m asking, I’m urging, I’m pleading with everyone. Please stay home.”

But just 30 minutes after tweeting his latest plea to avoid travel on Wednesday morning, Hancock boarded a flight, KUSA reported. Soon after, he was on his way to Houston for a layover before heading to Mississippi, where his daughter recently started a new job, he later tweeted.

After fierce backlash grew against his travels, Hancock offered a mea culpa and sought to explain his decision to fly despite his entreaties to avoid holiday travel, a suggestion echoed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver,” he said in his statement. “I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone. As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to

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Denver mayor offers apology for Thanksgiving travel after urging residents to stay home

He recognized that many people were “disappointed” by his decision.

On Wednesday, Mayor Michael B. Hancock headed to Mississippi to join his wife and daughter there, he said.

Earlier that day, the mayor told Denver ABC affiliate KMGH that during the holiday, “if you can, remain in your household. If you can, stay with those in your household.” If you choose to travel, he said to “do what we’ve always been asking throughout the entire experience: Wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands.”

He also advised residents to avoid travel “if you can” and to host virtual gatherings this Thanksgiving in a social media post on Wednesday.

Hancock did not mention his own plans to travel. In his mea culpa, the mayor said he should have.

“I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel,” he said in a statement. “I have shared how my family cancelled our plans for our traditional multi-household Thanksgiving celebration. What I did not share, but should have, is that my wife and my daughter have been in Mississippi, where my daughter recently took a job. As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver.”

The news of Hancock’s travels was met with calls of hypocrisy on Twitter. The mayor said he recognized that many people were “disappointed” by his decision.

“As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel,” he said. “I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head.”

PHOTO: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock listens as Colorado Rep. Alec Garnett, D-Denver, makes a point during a news conference about the rapid increase in coronavirus cases in the state Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in Denver.

Denver County has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, with the seven-day moving average of new cases reaching a peak of 728 on Nov. 21, county data shows. The county is in the state’s “level red” risk category, indicating a 14-day average positivity rate of between 10% and 15%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised people to spend the holiday at home as the number of COVID-19 cases spike.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has also urged residents

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Denver mayor apologizes over Thanksgiving travel plans

By Lauren M. Johnson, Kay Jones and Jeremy Harlan | CNN

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is asking for forgiveness after coming under fire for his upcoming holiday plans.

Hours after encouraging Denver residents to avoid Thanksgiving travel, the city’s mayor office confirmed he is flying to Mississippi to spend the holiday with his daughter and wife, according to his office.

“I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone,” Hancock said in a statement released by his office. “As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel. I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head.”

The apology comes after he posted a tweet on Wednesday morning stating that avoiding travel is a way to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The city also encouraged residents to only host Thanksgiving dinners with members of their immediate household.

In a statement previously sent to CNN, Hancock’s spokesperson, Mike Strott, that Hancock “will follow all necessary health and safety guidance and quarantine” upon his return to Denver.

According to the latest data provided by the city’s health department, there are 33,971 total reported cases of Covid-19 in Denver since the start of the pandemic.

Hancock isn’t the only local leader who’s not heeded their own advice.

Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom received backlash after he and his wife attended a birthday party at the French Laundry restaurant with a dozen others from several different households despite state health guidelines recommending against such gatherings amid a surge in Covid-19 infections.

Newsom apologized for his attendance, acknowledging that he should be practicing what he preaches.

“I made a bad mistake,” Newsom said. “Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up, walked back to my car and drove home.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo canceled his plans after facing criticism for planning to have a holiday meal with his 86-year-old mother and two of his daughters amid escalating numbers of Covid-19 cases.

The governor had previously warned New Yorkers who plan on holding Thanksgiving celebrations as usual that it was dangerous given that the virus can spread in large indoor gatherings.

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Mayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) apologized Wednesday following backlash for his holiday travel to Mississippi after he advised his residents to stay put due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



a view of a city with a mountain in the background: Mayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put


© Getty
Mayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put

Hancock released a statement saying he acknowledges he instructed people to “stay home and avoid unnecessary travel.” He said he publicly announced how his family canceled its usual “multi-household Thanksgiving” but should have shared that his wife and daughter have been in Mississippi after his daughter took a new job.

“As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver,” he said in the statement.

“I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone,” he added. “As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel.”

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” he concluded.

The mayor received criticism after it was reported that he flew to Mississippi hours after tweeting out recommendations for people to “avoid travel, if you can” this year for Thanksgiving as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge across the country.

Earlier Wednesday, Mike Strott, a spokesperson for Hancock, told The Denver Post in a statement that there was not a contradiction between the mayor’s instructions and his flight as his family changed its plans from its tradition of gathering up to 50 people.

“[Hancock] has told people to rethink their Thanksgiving plans. He has also said that if you do travel to follow health and safety guidelines and the mayor will still follow health and safety guidelines upon his return,” Strott told the newspaper.

Similar to leaders across the country, Hancock cautioned against large gatherings for the holidays throughout November saying “we’re not going to sit here and tell you that Thanksgiving is canceled in Denver,” but people should “think differently” about holiday gatherings.

He is not the only government official to be accused of hypocrisy after California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) faced condemnation for attending a 12-person party after urging people to avoid such gatherings. The governor later apologized for his attendance.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) altered his in-person Thanksgiving plans after he received backlash for saying his 89-year-old mother and two daughters were traveling to Albany to celebrate the holiday.

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Denver mayor says he ‘should have’ shared Thanksgiving travel plans after urging people to ‘avoid unnecessary travel’

Denver’s mayor apologized for traveling out of state to visit family members only hours after telling residents of the Colorado city to “avoid travel.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat, who was seen boarding a flight to Houston, Texas, on Wednesday said that although he warned residents of the Colorado capital to refrain from traveling amid the coronavirus pandemic, he decided “it would be safer” to travel to Mississippi to visit his daughter than have her come to Denver.

“I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel,” Hancock wrote. “I have shared how my family canceled our plans for our traditional multi-household Thanksgiving celebration. What I did not share, but should have, is that my wife and my daughter have been in Mississippi, where my daughter recently took a job. As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver.”

Hancock was chastised online for his hypocritical decision and apologized for the travel plans after critics noted his office previously instructed residents to stay home for “all but essential travel.”

Hancock admitted that he allowed his emotions to get the better of his travel plans, which fly directly against his own health guidelines.

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” Hancock added.

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