Marla Aufmuth / Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for WomenPhiladelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, pictured in a file photo from 2017, was caught in a photo over the weekend dining indoors at a Maryland restaurant. Kenney has banned indoor dining in his own city because of the coronavirus. (Marla Aufmuth / Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)
Rules for thee but not for me.
This time, it’s Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who was spotted eating indoors at a Maryland restaurant over the weekend, as reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer — even though Kelly still forbids indoor dining in his own city.
Marc Vetri, a Philadelphia restaurateur and vocal critic of Kelly’s indoor dining ban, shared a photo of Kenney dining indoors at the Chesapeake Inn Restaurant & Marina in Chesapeake City, Maryland.
To be clear, the issue isn’t with bans on indoor dining per se.
The issue is that Kenney is a hypocrite: He refuses to allow restaurants within his own jurisdiction to serve patrons indoors, but he has no problem hopping state lines to dine indoors in a city with less stringent restrictions.
Kenney took to Twitter to acknowledge that his behavior frustrated many people.
“I know some are upset that I dined indoors at a restaurant in Maryland yesterday. 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,” he wrote in a post.
Do you think Mayor Kenney’s behavior is hypocritical?
“Regardless, I understand the frustration.”
“Restaurant owners are among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” Kenney continued. “I’m sorry if my decision hurt those who’ve worked to keep their businesses going under difficult circumstances. Looking forward to reopening indoor dining soon and visiting my favorite spots.”
Mayor Kenney’s actions this weekend don’t just highlight the hypocrisy of many Democratic leaders, they’re an illustration of just how questionable the effectiveness of lockdowns really is.
Kenney continues to keep Philadelphia on lockdown because of the city’s high number of positive coronavirus cases to date. However, according to NBC Philadelphia, Philadelphia is currently the only Pennsylvania county to ban indoor dining entirely; all other counties in the Keystone State allow it in limited capacities.
Thus, Philly residents can simply drive to one of Pennsylvania’s 66 other counties (or to nearby states like Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland) if they wish to dine indoors — potentially taking the coronavirus with them and exposing relatively untouched communities like Chesapeake City to larger outbreaks.
This completely undermines the entire purpose of locking down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
If it’s OK for Mayor Kenney to dine indoors, it should be OK for his residents to do so as well.
If rules make sense, they should make sense for everybody.
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