It turns out that San Francisco Mayor London Breed also had a fancy birthday dinner at The French Laundry in Yountville just one day after the dinner Governor Gavin Newsom had there that has made national headlines due to its apparent hypocrisy. And San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was doing damage control Tuesday apologizing for his own Thanksgiving dinner faux pas — gathering with members of five different households for the holiday, in violation of state and local health orders.
We all know that not everyone is following pandemic isolation recommendations to the T these days. But when the leaders who daily try to drill the rules into us violate the rules themselves, it's a recipe for a whole lot of exasperation and outrage in the media and on social media — both sincere and manufactured.
Newsom's decision to join a table of 12 for a friend's 50th birthday at the French Laundry on November 6 was cause for a ton of backlash from Fox News and elsewhere, given Newsom's consistent voice of virtue since March on following public health protocols — and his criticism of President Trump for flouting them.
Similarly, Breed may now face outrage after the Chronicle reports that she attended a dinner there on November 7 with seven other people, representing an unknown number of different households. Like Newsom's dinner, the table for eight in a semi-enclosed space at the restaurant did not violate state or Napa County guidelines at the time. However with surging COVID cases around the Bay Area and Breed's own role in announcing potentially stricter public health lockdowns this week, it is going to raise eyebrows — and the dinner would have violated San Francisco's rules about dining with other households.
Breed's spokesperson Jeff Cretan tells the Chronicle that Breed paid for her own meal — the dinner was to celebrate the 60th birthday of socialite Goretti Lo Lui, and with City Hall roiled by a corruption scandal, Breed doesn't want to be caught taking any gifts. And he says that the mayor has dined at a number of outdoor restaurants in recent months to help lend her financial support to the businesses, but "Now, with case rates rising, and Bay Area counties moving back into the purple tier, she is once again limiting her actions and is encouraging all San Franciscans to do the same."
NBC Bay Area broke the news about Liccardo attending the Thanksgiving dinner at the home of his elderly parents in Saratoga. And while he says the meal was served outdoors at distanced tables, he issued an apology today saying, "I understand that the state regulations, issued on November 13th, limit the number of households at a private gathering to three. I apologize for my decision to gather contrary to state rules, by attending this Thanksgiving meal with my family."
He added, "I understand my obligation as a public official to provide exemplary compliance with the public health orders, and certainly not to ignore them. I commit to do better."
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