Officials in New York and California are adding themselves to the growing list of leaders who are acting against their own policies when it comes to restrictions put in place as coronavirus cases increase across the country.
San Jose, Calif., Mayor Sam Liccardo’s press team said that he was visiting his parents for Thanksgiving after he called on residents to stay home.
“Let’s cancel the big gatherings this year and focus on keeping each other safe,” Liccardo tweeted a day before the holiday.
The vast majority of the state was placed under strict prohibitions. Hospitalizations in California have increased 89% over the past 14 days and nearly 7,800 coronavirus patients were hospitalized as of Monday. Public health officials warned that people ignoring distance and mask guidelines and gathering for Thanksgiving with non-household relatives could lead to a massive surge in coronavirus cases by Christmas.
Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody on Nov. 14 warned residents to keep holiday gatherings between “immediate household members only” during a virtual town hall, according to NBC Bay Area.
“I cannot emphasize enough, gathering with friends and family who are not in your household is not safe,” she said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on October 9 issued new guidance ahead of the holiday season limiting gatherings to include people from no more than three households and saying that gatherings should be held outdoors with social distancing and masks.
Photos captured Newsom in November at an upscale restaurant in the wine country with a large group that appeared to be eating shoulder-to-shoulder indoors and unmasked.
Newsom later apologized, saying he made a “bad mistake.”
In Los Angeles, protesters demonstrated against new restrictions, carrying signs outside Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer’s Echo Park residence and chanted “no science, no data, no shutdown,” as well as, “open L.A.,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
In New York, prominent Brooklyn Democrats were criticized for attending a birthday party where many of the attendees were neither wearing a mask nor practicing social distance, despite the rising number of coronavirus cases in New York City.
The party was held over the weekend to celebrate the 50th birthday of Carlo Scissura, the head of a construction trade organization, New York Building Congress. Attendees included Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Ingrid Lewis-Martin and former Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman Frank Seddio, the Daily News reported.
The event took place as Gov. Andrew Cuomo limited indoor gatherings to 10 people or less.
“This is a particularly trying time, and there were shortcomings that I regret,” Scissura told Fox News. “I greatly appreciate the gesture of my friends to throw me a surprise party, but we all must follow strict protocols so we can get past this pandemic.”
A person familiar with the event told Fox News that the party was “primarily outside,” that all of the attendees were given a mask, and their temperatures were taken before entering the event.
Cuomo announced a battle plan Monday for the state to attack the coronavirus pandemic and while boasting to reporters his push for mask-wearing has helped curb the number of cases in the state. The announcement was made, however, at a press conference where neither he nor his aides on the dais – including state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker – wore face masks, according to the New York Post.
At the time, Cuomo was surrounded by state troopers, spokespeople, his photographer, reporters, and other aides who all wore masks.
The governor’s head of communications, Peter Ajemian, told The New York Post in an email Monday, “We follow and exceed all health guidance to ensure the safety of our briefings – period.”