Austin mayor urged constituents not to travel in video he shot while vacationing at resort in Mexico

Austin mayor urged constituents not to travel in video he shot while vacationing at resort in Mexico
Posted at 10:10 AM, Dec 04, 2020

The mayor of Austin, Texas, has apologized after reports revealed that he delivered an address urging his constituents to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while he was vacationing in Mexico.

"I regret this travel," Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a Democrat, said in a statement, according to The Austin American-Statesman. "My fear is that this travel, even having happened during a safer period, could be used by some as justification for risky behavior. In hindsight, and even though it violated no order, it set a bad example for which I apologize."

According to the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV in Austin, Adler took the trip after he hosted a small outdoor wedding ceremony for his daughter in early November. Both outlets report that there were about 20 guests at the wedding — more than the recommended guidelines of a limit of 10 per gathering that was in effect at the time.

Following the ceremony, KVUE reports that Adler and eight family members boarded a private jet and traveled to Cabo San Lucas for a resort vacation. One day into that trip, on Nov. 9, Adler urged Austinites to stay at home.

"We need to stay home if you can," Adler said in that video, according to the American-Stateman. "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 told the American-Statesman that he consulted with public health officials before hosting the wedding and that all 20 guests were required to undergo rapid COVID-19 tests before attending. He also said that masks were distributed during the reception guests "probably" did not wear them for the duration of the reception.

KVUE adds that some of the guests traveled by plane to attend the wedding, including the Seattle-based wedding photographer.

Adler isn't the only politician who has failed to heed his own warnings against travel. Last week, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat, traveled by plane to Mississippi to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family, despite repeated requests to his constituents not to travel for the holiday.