CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The safety messages have been clear: wear a mask, stay six feet apart, and most importantly stay home. However, more and more politicians seem to be flouting their own guidance and breaking their own orders.
Most nights, Austin Mayor Steve Alder updates residents on the coronavirus pandemic from his office.
“This is not the time to go out,” Alder said.
However, Nov. 9 looked different. In a prerecorded video from his family timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Alder urged Austin residents to stay home.
Alder now says he regrets traveling by private plane with his family to Mexico.
Also in Texas, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell pleaded guilty to violating his own stay-at-home order. He will pay a $1,000 fine.
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom is apologizing for attending a birthday party at a high-end French Laundry restaurant, as his administration asked Californians to do the opposite. At least a dozen people from different households were at the dinner.
The next day, San Francisco Mayor London Breed attended a gathering at the same restaurant with eight people, while the rule in her city only allowed for six.
San Jose, California Mayor Sam Liccardo apologized for violating state health orders by attending dinner at his parent’s home after urging his Twitter followers to cancel big Thanksgiving gatherings the day before.
In Denver, Mayor Michael Hancock urged people to change their Thanksgiving plans, including a letter to city employees asking them not to travel if they didn’t have to.
He initially said he was celebrating the holiday on zoom, but instead flew to Houston and on to Mississippi where he spent Thanksgiving with his wife and daughter.
In Missouri, a state senator and staff member tested positive for coronavirus after a senate retreat last month that appears to have violated basic safety measures put forward by Gov. Mike Parson.
Photos posted by the governor show at least 15 people sitting around tables, most of them not wearing masks and none of them six feet apart.
The consequences of these politician’s actions come down to state law and lawmakers are not exempt.
“That’s the American rule that no one is above the law. There might be certain state rules that exempt certain people. But for the most part, if the governor gets caught breaking the law, he or she is responsible for that crime just like anyone else,” James E. Tysse, Akin Gump LLP said.
At a federal level, dozens of members of the Trump administration have flouted their own government guidelines often going maskless, gathering at large events, and refusing to socially distance despite clear CDC guidelines to do the opposite.