KEY POINTS

  • Dozens of lawmakers have violated their own restrictions
  • At least four U.S. lawmakers have died from COVID-19 complications
  • An estimated 13.6 people nationwide have tested positive since January

Reports of a Texas city mayor calling on residents to self-isolate while on vacation at a luxury resort is just one of many incidents where high-profile public officials have flouted their own restrictions so far this year.

“We need to stay home if you can,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a Democrat, said in a video posted on Facebook while he and his family were on holiday in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “This is not the time to relax. We are going to be looking really closely. ... We may have to close things down if we are not careful.”

That incident was reported on Dec. 2 by the Austin American-Statesman. Adler’s trip in early November followed an outdoor wedding and reception for his daughter and 20 other guests. City officials in Austin at the time advised people to gather in groups of no more than 10 people. His own health officials were warning that “it’s important that we drive the (COVID-19) numbers down in advance of Thanksgiving,” the Statesman reported.

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, comedian Bill Maher named names on his HBO show, “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Targeting Democrats, Maher said in a Nov. 21 broadcast they can all "jump in a lake" for violating restrictions, the Washington Examiner and other right-leaning outlets reported.

"Because Democrats, who are always preaching wearing the masks, they keep getting caught doing what we’re not allowed to do,” he said. "Nancy Pelosi did. Lori Lightfoot did. Now, Gavin Newsom."

Pelosi is a California Democrat and the House Speaker, Lightfoot is the mayor of Chicago and Newsom is California’s governor.

Pelosi in September was caught on camera in a San Francisco hair salon against orders closing such facilities to control the spread of COVID-19. She later said she was set up, CBS News reported at the time.

Lightfoot, the Chicago mayor, was on MSNBC in mid-November defending her position to keep strict lockdowns in place days after celebrating with a crowd of city supporters of now President-elect Joe Biden.

Newsom, meanwhile, violated state orders by attending a birthday party of a long-time adviser on Nov. 6 at a posh Napa County restaurant with 12 guests, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. State guidelines at the time advised against gatherings that include members from more than three households.

Elsewhere in California, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, a Democrat, appears to have violated similar restrictions during the Thanksgiving holiday by celebrating with his elderly parents and an unknown number of other guests, the Bay Area’s NBC affiliate reported Nov. 30.

In Denver, meanwhile, Mayor Michael Hancock, also a Democrat, admitted he made an “unwise” decision to fly to Mississippi to visit his daughter during the Thanksgiving holiday and said he was now in self-quarantine, CBS4 in Denver reported Nov. 28.

But the issue is not isolated to Democrats. Pennsylvania’s Patriot-News reported Nov. 10 that at least 19 Republican lawmakers gathered in the state capitol building, most without masks as required by notices posted inside the building.

State Rep. Russ Diamond, whose Lebanon County at the time had the fifth-highest rate of infection in Pennsylvania, was quoted by the newspaper as saying “we are not afraid.”

In the White House, meanwhile, a busy October travel schedule for Vice President Mike Pence was described as “grossly negligent” by Saskia Popescu,an infectious disease expert at George Mason University.

A so-called superspreader event occurred on the lawn of the White House during ceremonies marking the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in late October. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tested positive and was hospitalized for complications from COVID-19 for about a week after attending the event. On Nov. 7, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows and four others in the president’s inner circle tested positive for COVID-19.

The president, first lady Melania Trump, their son, Baron, and dozens more inside the White House all contracted COVID-19. President Trump was hospitalized briefly for COVID-19 complications in early October.

A tally by the Associated Press found nearly 200 legislators across the country have tested positive for COVID-19 and four have died as of Nov. 21.

Since Jan. 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded over 13.6 million positive cases of COVID-19 and 269,763 deaths attributed to complications from the virus.

The celebration for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on September 26 is thought to have been the source of new infections inside the president's inner circle The celebration for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on September 26 is thought to have been the source of new infections inside the president's inner circle Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / CHIP SOMODEVILLA