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

Austin Mayor Steve Adler addresses attendees as well as investors and executives from Austin FC ahead of the ribbon cutting ceremony at McKalla Place in Austin, Texas on September 9, 2019. (John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports)

Austin Mayor Steve Adler said he regretted spending a vacation in Mexico last month as he warned residents of his town to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel to slow down the spread of the coronavirus as cases continue to rise.

While on vacation 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 on his Facebook page on November 9, KVUE, ABC subsidiary in Austin. reported.

“The numbers are rising, perhaps becoming a bit more of a concern than they have been in the past, still not in a red zone, but something we can potentially see happening,” said Adler, a Democrat. , in his video message.

“We have to stay home if you can. Do whatever you can to try to reduce the numbers. Now is not the time to relax, ”said the mayor.

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

Wednesday, Adler Told The hill that he regrets taking the vacation and says he did not travel during Thanksgiving and does not plan to do so on Christmas.

“I regret this trip,” said the mayor, adding that “my fear is that this trip, even after taking place for a safer time, could be used by some as justification for risky behavior.”

“Looking back, and even though he didn’t violate any orders, he set a bad example for which I apologize,” Adler said.

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

A day after Adler and his immediate and extended family left for Cabo, Austin’s senior doctor, interim health authority Dr. Mark Escott, issued public directives discouraging travel.

“If you go to a restaurant, go out with your family, the people who live in your household, not family or friends who do not live in your household. And start cutting back on unnecessary trips outside your home. “

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