Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was spotted enjoying a beer inside a local restaurant over the weekend just before announcing a ban on indoor dining due to an uptick in coronavirus cases.
“Why is the Mayor out drinking at a bar if he is so convinced that this activity is at the epicenter of the Covid 19 surge?” Broad and Liberty asked on its Facebook page.
The mayor’s office confirmed to Fox News that Mr. Kenney had a meal at one of his “favorite eateries” as an effort to support local restaurants ahead of the lockdown.
“Mayor Kenney intentionally patronized several restaurants this weekend — as he usually does — to support local businesses and their wait staff,” Deputy Communications Director Lauren Cox said in a statement.
“This image was taken at one of his favorite eateries, which he wanted to support before the restrictions go into effect this Friday,” she said. “As Mayor Kenney said during Monday’s press conference, no one (including him) wants to institute more restrictions; but he and Health Commissioner Dr. Farley are making decisions based on what they believe is required to save lives.
“The mayor did order food, therefore the image was captured before or after the food was served,” Ms. Cox said. He will continue ordering takeout and dining outside while COVID restrictions are in effect, and encourages others to continue supporting our neighborhood small businesses in ways that comply with current restrictions and feel safe for them and their families.”
Philadelphia health officials on Monday announced new “Safer at Home” restrictions, effective this Friday through Jan. 1, which include a ban on indoor dining, indoor gyms, and sports for youth, community groups and schools. The city is also closing high schools, colleges, libraries, museums, bowling alleys and theaters during this period.
Mr. Kenney faced a backlash in August after he was photographed dining indoors in Maryland, while indoor dining remained prohibited in his own city. He later apologized, tweeting, “I’m sorry if my decision hurt those who’ve worked to keep their businesses going under difficult circumstances. Looking forward to reopening indoor dining soon and visiting my favorite spots.”
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