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Mayor apologizes for going to Mexico while urging residents to stay home

NBC News logo NBC News 12/3/2020 Tim Fitzsimons
Steve Adler wearing a suit and tie in front of a flat screen tv © Provided by NBC News

The mayor of Austin, Texas, has apologized for traveling to Mexico during the pandemic.

Responding to a story first reported Wednesday in The Austin American-Statesman, the mayor, Steve Adler, admitted he traveled in early November to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico — and while abroad, he even recorded a message urging Austinites to stay home to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

In a video posted online Wednesday, Adler said, "I need to set a clearer example so that my message is unambiguous, and for the failure to do that I sincerely apologize."

In the message, Adler said that his daughter, "like many other brides," had to cancel her wedding plans because of public health rules, and "instead she had a small, mostly family, very private wedding."

"Most importantly, she was happy," Adler said. "Afterwards, a small, mostly family group traveled to Mexico."

"I want you to know I regret that travel. I wouldn't travel now, I didn't over Thanksgiving, and I wouldn't over Christmas — and no one should, everyone should be avoiding nonessential travel now because we are in the orange area," Adler said, referring to the fourth-highest level of the city's color-coded chart.

Adler worried that his travel, which he said "took place during a safer period," might "lead to some taking riskier behavior now."

Adler called his decision to go to Mexico a "bad example" and "confusing" and said he needs "to send a clearer message."

"I'm sorry I took that trip. It was a lapse in judgment, and I want you to know I apologize," he said.

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