AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Mayor Steve Adler's early November trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, after hosting his daughter's wedding is getting attention and reaction on the local and national level.
The KVUE Defenders reported Wednesday that both the wedding and the vacation happened as health officials urged families to not gather with others outside of their households to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The mayor himself also asked people to stay home if they could.
Adler encouraged others to stay home during a Facebook video message posted Nov. 9, which the mayor confirmed was filmed while he was in Mexico on vacation with eight people, including immediate and extended family.
Adler has since apologized for the trip, saying he "regrets" it. But locally and nationally, people are making their thoughts on the matter heard across social media.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted in part, "Hypocrites. Complete and utter hypocrites" before mentioning Adler.
President Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., also tweeted about the incident, quote-tweeting KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski, who broke the story Wednesday afternoon.
Locally, Andy Hogue, the communications director for the Travis County Republican Party, said he feels the mayor should practice what he preaches.
"I would say that at least blurs the line. I know about a month ago we weren't as concerned until the second surge was more readily noticeable. But still, yes, it didn't stop the closure of various kinds of businesses," Hogue said. "I would just ask the mayor to please be consistent and let's practice what we preach."
Hogue also commented on whether or not an issue like this becomes political.
"I hate to make public health or weddings political. Honestly, they should be things we celebrate and practice equally," he said. "But in this case, it's a matter of simple leadership. It's a matter of simple consistency."
Mackenzie Kelly, a candidate for Austin City Council's District 6, also quote-tweeted Plohetski, saying, "We need leaders that lead by example at city hall."
KVUE reached out to all of the Austin City Council members about this story, but as of Wednesday night, we have not received a response from any of them. We also reached out to Gov. Greg Abbott's office for comment, but there has been no response as of Wednesday night.
Adler isn't the first local leader to come under fire for participating in what local health officials say are non-essential activities during the pandemic. Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell was charged on Monday, Nov. 23, for violating his emergency management plan when he attended his grandchild's birthday party, according to his attorney and court records.
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