Editorial: Austin mayor’s behavior part of bigger issue

Staff Editorial

Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, Texas, is facing scrutiny after it was revealed that he traveled with his family to Mexico last month while urging his constituents to remain at home while COVID-19 cases surged.

At one point, he even recorded a video while on vacation urging residents to follow stay-at-home recommendations.

Adler is not the only elected official to defy their own advice. California Governor Gavin Newsom attended a birthday party after telling people to stay at home and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock flew to visit family for Thanksgiving after asking his staff not to travel for the holiday.

On the surface, this may just seem like a few politicians making stupid mistakes, but we at the Daily Eastern News think it is a bigger problem than just that.

It is an example of people with the means to circumvent travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders taking advantage of their positions and betraying the public trust by doing so.

In many different levels of government, some America’s leaders have let people down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many Americans refuse to acknowledge that COVID is even real or claim it is overblown by the government or media, and public officials openly defying their own policies can be used by conspiracy theorists to claim COVID is no big deal.

On a more basic level, Americans need leadership during this difficult time. Many people are struggling financially and have lost loved ones. Politicians behaving this way makes it look like they do not care.