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San Jose mayor breaks gathering guidelines on Thanksgiving, issues apology

Photo Credit: samliccardo.com
By Wesley Severson - Published on December 01, 2020.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is the latest public figure to say sorry for essentially breaking his own rules. On Tuesday, Liccardo issued an apology for what he did on Thanksgiving which was in direct violation of state coronavirus guidelines.

On Monday, NBC Bay Area first reported that the mayor and his wife went to Liccardo’s parents' house in Saratoga last week for an outdoor meal on the patio.

Then, on Tuesday, Liccardo admitted in a statement on social media that the dinner party did not meet state guidelines for counties in the "Purple" tier like Santa Clara. 

"Eight of us representing five households sat around three distanced tables in our own family groups on the back patio," Liccardo said in the statement.

“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. 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,” Liccardo also said.

Liccardo says the 4-other households that were in attendance were all family members and he says that several of his other relatives elected not to attend the dinner out of an abundance of caution.

He says everyone who was at the dinner was taking safety precautions seriously, like wearing masks when they weren’t eating and sitting at different tables.

Mayor Liccardo tweeted the day before Thanksgiving that the citizens of San Jose should avoid crowded Thanksgiving dinners as a way to help stop a recent surge of coronavirus cases hitting Santa Clara County. 

"Cases are spiking, in part because we’re letting our guard (and masks) down with family & friends. Let’s cancel the big gatherings this year and focus on keeping each other safe,” Liccardo said on Twitter.

Many believe Liccardo should have learned a lesson from a similar, widely-publicized gaff in early November by Governor Gavin Newsom who dined at a party openly without a mask in a large crowd at French Laundry in Napa County which went against his own guidelines.

The SF Chronicle now reports that San Francisco Mayor London Breed attended a similar dinner party at the very same restaurant the day after Newsom’s party. 

In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was caught on video getting her hair done inside a closed San Francisco salon that should not have been working with customers indoors.

It remains to be seen who the next public figure will be to join the growing “do as I say, not as I do” club during this pandemic

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