SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Mayor London Breed’s recent visit to a famed Napa Valley restaurant for a birthday party is drawing heavy scrutiny from critics who say politicians aren’t practicing what they preach.
A day after the mayor’s office confirmed the dinner, it’s still unclear how many households took part in that meal at The French Laundry in Yountville in November.READ MORE: UPDATE: Estrada Fire Containment 35%; Evacuation Orders Downgraded as Crews Mop Up
KPIX 5 reached out to the mayor’s office multiple times to get an answer to that question, but have not yet heard back as of Wednesday night.
This is the latest incident of a Bay Area politician facing scrutiny over bending COVID restrictions.
Also on Tuesday, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo apologized for attending a Thanksgiving dinner at his parents’ with five households.
Breed’s spokesperson acknowledged the mayor attended a birthday dinner totaling 8 people at the Napa Valley restaurant but there was no apology in the statement.
State guidelines first issued in October say gatherings should only have a maximum of three households.
“The consequences of not following your own advice when we’re headed into a critical period are serious,” said Bruce Cain, a professor of political science at Stanford University.READ MORE: Hollywood Movie, TV Workers Reach Deal With Producers to Avert Strike
“It’s particularly problematic when it’s something that goes against the policy that you are advocating other people to follow. It doesn’t help your cause at all and it undermines your credibility,” Cain went on to say.
Lima Lemon, a jewelry and clothing store just opened last month in San Francisco and has to limit the number of customers inside under the city’s latest COVID-19 rules. Co-owner Thays Lima is one in a growing number of retailers, becoming more critical of lawmakers.
“If they’re not doing it, why are they telling everyone else to do it? It’s a control thing,” Lima said.
Looming lockdowns that further restrict businesses and lives are on the horizon in San Francisco, with cases continuing to be on the rise.
“Truth is we are going to have to take more restrictive action. It pains me to say that,” Breed said at her COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday.
“This is going to give them an out. They’re going to be able to say, ‘Well the mayor doesn’t do it, the governor doesn’t do it, why should I do it?'” said Cain.
Jason Smith, another San Francisco resident, said he won’t be deterred from following public health guidelines to slow the virus.MORE NEWS: COVID Vaccination Count in San Mateo County Revised Down Due to Data Error
“It’s our duty. I can’t imagine disregarding the rules just because an elected official did,” Smith said.