One of the leading Democratic mayors in America was caught in a controversial picture on Sunday.
And the blurry photo quickly went viral.
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Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was seen inside a restaurant, without a mask and not social distancing from other patrons, over the weekend while those living inside the city he runs are banned from indoor dining.
Kenney was spotted by popular Philadelphia celebrity chef Marc Vetri, who has been a vocal opponent of Kenney’s harsh indoor dining restrictions.
According to the post, Kenney was able to avoid the indoor dining restrictions he’s imposed by traveling out of state to Republican-led Maryland.
“Hi @phillymayor !!! Glad you’re enjoying indoor dining with no social distancing or mask wearing in Maryland tonight while restaurants here in Philly close, suffer and fight for every nickel just to survive,” the social media post by Vetri read.
“I guess all your press briefings and your narrative of unsafe indoor dining don’t apply to you,” the post continued. “Thank you for clearing it all up for us tonight.”
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Kenney took to social media to apologize to voters after he was caught.
“I know some are upset that I dined indoors at a restaurant in Maryland yesterday. I felt the risk was low because the county I visited has had fewer than 800 COVID-19 cases, compared to over 33,000 cases in Philadelphia,” he wrote on Twitter. “Regardless, I understand the frustration.”
Later that night, the mayor’s office defended his decision in a press statement.
The mayor went to Maryland earlier today to patronize a restaurant owned by a friend of his. For what it’s worth, he also went to Rouge to enjoy outdoor dining in Philly on the way home. He looks forward to expanding indoor dining locally next week.
Throughout the pandemic the Mayor has consistently deferred to the guidance of the Health Commissioner, who in this case felt strongly about waiting until Sept. 8 to resume indoor dining. If elected officials at the federal level had similarly deferred to health experts over the past five months, this might not even be an issue by now.
Of course we understand the frustrations of local restaurant owners who have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. But there are 782 total cases in the county the mayor briefly visited, compared to over 33,000 cases in Philadelphia. Drastically different circumstances.
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You can see the controversial picture yourself below —
View this post on Instagram
Hi @phillymayor !!! Glad you’re enjoying indoor dining with no social distancing or mask wearing in Maryland tonight while restaurants here in Philly close, suffer and fight for every nickel just to survive. I guess all your press briefings and your narrative of unsafe indoor dining don’t apply to you. Thank you for clearing it all up for us tonight. ????
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The Horn editorial team