Austin Mayor's Video Urging Residents To Stay Home Was Shot From Cabo

by Kristine Cannon
Austin Mayor Steve Adler/Facebook

“After two weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip…” — Adler probably

We’re nine months into this COVID-19 pandemic, and the message remains the same: Stay home, mask up, be safe. And that message is even more imperative now, as we’ve just wrapped up the Thanksgiving holiday, during which millions of Americans actually boarded flights to see their loved ones, and as confirmed cases and deaths reach frightening, record-breaking all-time highs (we’re talking more-than-2,800-deaths-in-a-single-day high). One mayor is doing his part to continue to urge people to stay home — except, he wasn’t home himself. He wasn’t even close. No, Austin Mayor Steve Adler filmed his message to residents from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where he was vacationing — amid a global pandemic of nearly 65 million confirmed cases.

In early November, the day after he hosted an outdoor wedding and reception with 20 guests for his daughter at a hotel in downtown Austin, Adler and seven other people from said wedding hopped on a private jet to Cabo San Lucas. They vacationed there for one week at a family timeshare, Austin American-Statesman reports. It was during this trip that Adler thought to himself, “You know what, I should send a friendly reminder to the people of Austin to do the exact opposite of what I literally just did.”

In the Facebook video posted Nov. 9, Adler had the gall to tell residents: “We need to stay home if you can. 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.”

At the time the video was posted and shared, the city was under Stage 3 recommendations, meaning people were advised to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.

“At that point, I am with my family group and people who just tested,” Adler said of the wedding, adding that the attendees all took a rapid COVID-19 test and were all asked to maintain social distancing. “It is not perfect. Obviously, there are infections that could happen, but I think all of us should be minimizing risks as best we can.”

It doesn’t even end there.

Apparently, the day after Adler left for Cabo, interim health director Dr. Mark Escott said during a media briefing, “If you’re going out to a restaurant, go out with your family, the people who live in your household, not with family and friends outside your household and start to decrease those travels outside of your home that are not necessary.”

After word got out of Adler’s inappropriate trip, Adler said in a statement yesterday that “only at our most trying moments, like around Thanksgiving” did he ask people not to travel “as part of extra precautions.

“However, we aren’t asking people to never venture out,” he said. “We ask everyone to be as safe as possible when they do.”

Adler then released another statement saying he regretted the trip.

“I regret this travel,” he said. “I wouldn’t travel now, didn’t over Thanksgiving and won’t over Christmas. But 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.”

Alright, everyone, let’s all say it one more time together: Stay. Home.

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.