PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – A photo of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney eating at home in Maryland drew criticism on Sunday night as the COVID-19 outbreak forced some businesses in the city to close and others to fight to stay afloat with alfresco dining.
The mayor’s office confirmed that he visited a friend’s restaurant on Sunday.
The image went viral because Kenney strongly supported his decision not to allow restaurants in town to open for indoor dining.
“We have to follow what the health department asks us to do,
Kenney said earlier this month, announcing new restrictions coming on indoor dining. “Please follow the rules.”
On Sunday evening, the mayor’s office defended the photo, releasing this statement:
“The mayor went to Maryland today to protect a restaurant owned by a friend of his. For what it’s worth, he also went to Rouge for an alfresco dinner in Philadelphia on his way home. He looks forward to growing the business. interior catering on site next week.
Throughout the pandemic, the mayor constantly went back on the advice of the health commissioner who, in this case, was convinced he had to wait until September 8 to resume meals inside. If elected federal officials had also referred to health experts in the past five months, that might not even be a problem at this point.
Of course, we understand the frustrations of local restaurateurs who have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. But there are 782 total cases in the county the mayor briefly visited, compared to more than 33,000 cases in Philadelphia. Radically different circumstances “.
This photo surfaced Sunday of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney as he ate indoors in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
Philadelphia restaurateur Marc Vetri has denounced the closure of indoor restaurants.
He slammed Kenney after the image was posted on Instagram:
“Glad you dine inside without social distancing or masks in Maryland tonight as Philadelphia restaurants close, suffer and fight for every penny.” just to survive. Guess all your press briefings and your dangerous inside meal story don’t apply to you. Thanks for clarifying everything tonight. “