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Philly Mayor Gets Grief for Dining Inside a Restaurant

Jim Kenney has barred the practice in his city, ate in Maryland on Sunday
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2020 1:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – Do as he says, not as he does, apparently? Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has found himself on the receiving end of plenty of scorn after a photo was snapped of him dining inside a Maryland restaurant on Sunday. Kenney has banned indoor dining in restaurants in his city due to the coronavirus, and PennLive reports it's a decision he has "staunchly stood by" despite criticism from chefs and locals. And there is plenty of fresh criticism now: 6ABC cites this Instagram post from Philadelphia restaurateur Marc Vetri: "Hi @phillymayor !!! Glad you’re enjoying indoor dining with no social distancing or mask-wearing in Maryland tonight while restaurants here in Philly close, suffer and fight for every nickel just to survive. I guess all your press briefings and your narrative of unsafe indoor dining don’t apply to you. Thank you for clearing it all up for us tonight."

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Kenney's office explained in a Sunday night statement that the restaurant belonged to a friend and that, "for what it's worth," he stopped at Philadelphia restaurant Rouge and dined outdoors on his way home. After saying Kenney "looks forward to" bringing back indoor dining effective Sept. 8 at 25% capacity per the guidance of the Health Commissioner, the office offered this bit of justification: "There are 782 total cases in the county the mayor briefly visited, compared to over 33,000 cases in Philadelphia. Drastically different circumstances." Kenney said much the same in a Monday tweet: "I know some are upset ... I felt the risk was low because the county I visited has had fewer than 800 COVID-19 cases, compared to over 33,000 cases in Philadelphia. Regardless, I understand the frustration." (Read more Philadelphia stories.)

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