As Americans across the country are under social and public health restrictions, many prominent politicians have been seen flouting the lockdowns they impose. The left and right have heaped scorn on their hypocrisy.
As the coronavirus pandemic reached its worst numbers nationwide on the eve of Thanksgiving, state and local governments implemented new restrictions. In more than a few instances, these restrictions were ignored by the same politicians who implemented them.
- Before Thanksgiving, California Governor Gavin Newsom was forced to publicly apologize after he was spotted at swanky restaurant The French Laundry with a large group, none wearing masks.
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo canceled his Thanksgiving plans after it was revealed his family would gather in Albany, flouting his own admonitions that New Yorkers not travel for the holiday.
- Cuomo and Newsome received harsh backlash from fellow politicians and the press.
- San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo confirmed he broke public health guidelines by attending a 5-household large gathering for Thanksgiving the day after tweeting “Let’s cancel the big gatherings this year and focus on keeping each other safe.”
- Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, Texas, was on vacation in Mexico with family and even recorded a message for Austin residents urging them not to travel while on vacation.
- San Francisco mayor London Breed was also caught dining at the same restaurant as Newsom despite implementing what the AP calls “some of the strictest rules in California.” Breed’s spokesperson told the AP she has been supporting local businesses. The AP notes The French Laundry is 60 miles from San Francisco.
- A southern California government official dined out the same night she voted to ban outdoor dining.
- Denver Mayor Michael Hancock flew to Mississippi to spend Thanksgiving with family after urging Denver residents to stay home for the holiday.
- Last month, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker were taken to task for harsh imposition of crowd limits while they celebrated in the streets with crowds in reaction to Joe Biden’s apparent presidential victory.
- Both CNN’s Brianna Keilar and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany separately excoriated public officials flouting their own guidelines.
- Chris Cillizza with CNN called the instances “an avalanche of hypocrisy.”
- At the time of Governor Newsom’s apology, The Daily Beast’s Matt Lewis railed against Newsom and others for “[reinforcing] the notion that progressive elites think they’re better than the hoi polloi lumpenproletariat” they govern and impose mandates on.
- Washington Post noted these collective acts of hypocrisy come as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths related to coronavirus are spiking nationwide.
- USA Today’s fact checking team gave several of the claims of Democratic officials ignoring their own restriction a “Missing Context” rating because “such behavior has been seen on both sides of the aisle.”
- Fox News reported on conservative backlash for USA Today’s “Missing Context” rating.
- National Review makes the suggestion that local officials ought to stop issuing mandates and instead offer recommendations if they’re unable to follow their own rules.
- Columnist Dana Loesch argued the hypocrisy of politicians should not let Americans not celebrate Thanksgiving safely, listing multiple unintended consequences of social and public health restrictions.
- Jason L. Riley writes in the Wall Street Journal last week that politicians believing they’re above the laws they write is nothing new.
© Dallas Gerber, 2020