“We need to stay home if you can. We need to keep the numbers down. Now is not the time to relax,” said Democrat Austin Mayor Steve Adler as the tropical breeze of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, gently blew the palm trees behind him.

Though Adler may not have literally had palm trees and breeze in the background of his recent video message, the reality wasn’t far off. On November 9, as government health officials urged families to not gather with others and to avoid nonessential travel, Adler warned Austin citizens to follow the government coronavirus shutdown rules and “stay home.”

Adler recorded the video message while he was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with a group of people.

The story was first reported by KVUE Austin news reporter Tony Plohetski, who spoke with Adler to confirm the series of events. In early November, Adler hosted his daughter’s wedding for 20 guests at Hotel Saint Cecilia in downtown Austin. The next day, he departed the city with eight of those attendees (which included immediate and extended family) and flew on a private jet to their Cabo getaway.

The day after Adler and his entourage left the country, Austin’s Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott issued a warning to the citizens of Austin to “start to decrease those travels outside of your home that are not necessary.”

Adler then reiterated the warning to citizens that “now is not the time to relax”—which he said from a location on his Cabo excursion.

Adler’s incident comes a week after Austin-area Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell had to pay a $1,000 fine for violating his own “stay-at-home” order. Dallas-area county judges were also recently caught disregarding their own shutdown decrees. Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, for instance, warned families to avoid large Thanksgiving gatherings while he had numerous cars parked in front of his house for the holiday.

“What it shows is that we continue to have an elected class in this country and us serfs,” said North Texas activist and 2017 Conservative Leader Award winner Joel Starnes, who advised citizens to practice “peaceful noncompliance” with coronavirus shutdown mandates.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.


Texas Minute: 2/2/2023

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