Within weeks of the news that California Governor Gavin Newsom flouted his own stringent COVID-19 health guidelines at a maskless dinner party in an upscale restaurant, reports indicate that the mayor of San Francisco attended a similar party.
According to the San Francisco Gate, Mayor London Breed attended a birthday dinner party at French Laundry, an opulent restaurant in California’s Napa Valley the night after Gov. Newsom’s controversial visit.
Andy Lynch, press director for the Office of the Mayor, told the paper that eight people, including Mayor Breed, dined together at a small birthday party for socialite Gorretti Lo Lui on November 7.
Lynch described the table Breed’s group shared as “open air.” The San Francisco Chronicle, who broke the story, however, said it was similar to the indoor-outdoor room where Newsom ate.
Regardless, Breed’s office was adamant that the mayor technically did not break the health order around dining as Napa was in the orange tier at the time and allowed both indoor and outdoor dining. Further, while health officials strongly urged against gatherings, the state didn’t release its official guidelines limiting gathering to no more than three households until November 13.
Still, state guidelines urge restaurants to “Limit the number of patrons at a single table to a household unit or patrons who have asked to be seated together,” the Gate reports.
“Finally, another question is, why did the mayor have to leave her county for a meal?” the Gate’s Amy Graff asks. “Since the start of the pandemic, the state has discouraged traveling between counties.”
To top it all off, Mayor Breed banned all indoor dining in San Francisco, according to the Chronicle, just three days after her visit to French Laundry.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that everyone act responsibly to reduce the spread of the virus,” Breed said in a statement. “Every San Franciscan needs to do their part so that we can start moving in the right direction again.”
Although the mayor may have dined out when the pandemic was less severe in early October, Lynch states that Breed will not do so again in the future.
“During the recent period when San Francisco’s numbers were lower than they are today, the Mayor visited a number of restaurants in San Francisco to support them safely during this pandemic, but she has always been cautious when she is dining out,” Lynch told the paper. “Now, with cases 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.”
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