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Mayor of Austin, Texas, apologizes for taking Mexico vacation while urging residents to stay home

Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Texas, traveled to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico after his daughter was married.
Image: Key Speakers At The Bloomberg Breakaway Summit
Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, speaks during the Bloomberg Breakaway Summit on May 25, 2016 in New York.Bloomberg / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

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.