Philadelphia mayor sorry after photo shows him dining in Maryland
Philadelphia’s mayor has apologized after a photo of him eating inside a Maryland restaurant circulated on social media this weekend while his city’s bans on indoor restaurant dining continue.
A spokesperson for Mayor Jim Kenney confirmed that he dined at a friend’s restaurant in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, reported WPVI-TV in Philadelphia and NBC News, but it remains unclear where exactly the restaurant is located. It is also unclear who initially posted the image.
Kenney apologized in a tweet Monday, justifying the decision by saying that he felt “the risk was low because the county he visited had fewer than 800 COVID-19 cases.”
A representative for Kenney confirmed to USA TODAY that he dined at a restaurant in Cecil County, which borders Pennsylvania and Delaware.
“Restaurant owners are among the hardest hit by the pandemic.” he tweeted. “I’m sorry if my decision hurt those who’ve worked to keep their businesses going under difficult circumstances.
One vocal critic was chef and restaurant owner Marc Vetri, who criticized the hypocrisy of Kenney dining indoors while restaurants in the city “close, suffer and fight for every nickel.”
“I guess all your press briefings and your narrative of unsafe indoor dining don’t apply to you,” he said in an Instagram post recirculating the image.
Indoor dining — with 25 percent capacity and no more than four people per group — will restart in the city September 8 after shutting down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Tuesday, the city has 33,909 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,751 deaths.
Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote.