Although there are significant regional differences in the transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), localities are beginning to consider reopening as cases are decreasing overall. While the tensions over lockdowns have become increasingly salient, some mayors aren’t practicing what they preach.
Social distancing measures have helped most metropolitan hospitals in this country avoid the crisis that occurred in Italy’s Lombardy region, where a surge of patients overwhelmed healthcare professionals — but no thanks to these mayors.
Here’s who isn’t playing by the rules they’ve imposed on their constituents:
Mayor Becky Ames (Beaumont, Texas)
Someone photographed Mayor Ames marching into a nail salon in Beaumont in direct violation of Texas’ stay-at-home order. The order will expire on April 30, but don’t expect that to harken a return to normalcy. Governor Greg Abbott (R) said some businesses could begin reopening starting May 1 — at 25 percent capacity.
In the meantime, the mayor’s office issued an apology.
Lori Lightfoot (Chicago, Illinois)
Lightfoot sparked controversy when she arranged for a professional in-home haircut while simultaneously urging residents not to go outside for long runs or bicycle rides. Unlike Ames, Lightfoot vigorously defended the decision by claiming that personal hygiene was an integral part of doing her job well or something.
Close-contact businesses like nail salons and barbershops have been among the hardest hit economically by physical distancing guidelines as it’s impossible to maintain a six-foot distance between employees and customers. But Lightfoot didn’t appear to let that bother her. In footage that has since gone viral, neither Lightfoot nor her stylist wore any personal protective equipment.
Bill de Blasio (New York City)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife took a stroll through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Saturday in a possible contradiction of his “nonessential travel” decree, given the couple was 11 miles from their home. While they donned respiratory protective devices, de Blasio had little to say while he was being heckled.
@NYCMayor no, I won’t “give it a break.” You don’t get a break. We don’t get a break.
You can’t change the past & will always have blood on your hands.
If I were you, I’d be working night & day to help those in most dire need. Maybe start with your inadequate homeless services. pic.twitter.com/i71ulg7Hvl
— darren (@brooklyn_darren) April 25, 2020