State and local-mandated lockdowns meant businesses were closed, livelihoods were destroyed, and mental health plummeted, but our elected officials assured us that this was all in our best interests, and breaking these stay-at-home orders was both immoral and punishable by arrest. Yet several politicians proved that the rules are not the same for the governors as for the governed. Below are eight politicians who flouted their own stay-at-home orders.
1. Gov. Phil Murphy, New Jersey
New Jersey is one of the final hold outs for the stay-at-home orders, which were just announced to be ending earlier this week. Before then, outdoor gatherings were limited to a maximum of 25 people, with proper social distancing being required. The rules Gov. Murphy put in place didn’t stop him from a large Black Lives Matter protest in Hillside, NJ, which certainly involved more than 25 people, highlighting the march with pictures on his twitter account.
Today, in Hillside, we marched for justice.
For George Floyd and for the many before him – who lost their lives for being Black.
We march because we will not accept systemic racism and bias as just part of our national condition. Black Lives Matter. pic.twitter.com/JGe00Xa1qS
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 7, 2020
2. Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia
Ralph Northam has had a hard time following his own mask regulations in Virginia. The current rules in Virginia state that cloth face coverings, be it face masks or bandanas, are required in public settings. Northam was photographed on Virginia Beach boardwalk, not wearing a mask and standing well within six feet of other people, just one day after suggesting he’d make wearing masks mandatory for Virginians.
3. Gov.Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan
Governor Whitmer became very unpopular with draconian and arbitrary rules for stay-at-home orders. The state is still under lockdown, one of the last states to continue with the measures.
Over Memorial Day weekend, intrastate travel was strongly discouraged, with Whitmer imploring Michigan residents to not take the recent decrease in restrictions as a cause to travel. However, her husband was caught attempting to have their boat taken out of storage in Traverse City, a lakeside city three hours away from her home in Lansing. When told he was unable to get his boat out that weekend, he asked if his wife being the governor would make a difference.
While no one really knows whether the Whitmers actually were able to travel that weekend, or whether the trip was intended for just her husband, it is clear that the governor’s family believes a different set of rules apply to them compared to the rest of Michigan. Whitmer claims her husband planned to “rake leaves” at the lake that holiday weekend.
4. Gov. Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, much of the state is under “yellow phase'” restrictions, in which large gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited. One of those counties is Dauphin, which houses the city of Harrisburg. Interestingly, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and substantially more than 24 others marched in protest of gun violence and racism in Harrisburg last week. Wolf even posted about it on twitter.
I’m at today’s March Against Injustice and Gun Violence 2020 in Harrisburg in solidarity with our community.
Black lives matter. Racism must end. I am here to listen. pic.twitter.com/MoTYi7AtuW
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) June 3, 2020
5. Mayor Steve Adler, Austin, Texas
Despite a restrictive stay-at-home order, Black Lives Matter protests have erupted all over Austin, Texas. One of the marchers was Mayor Steve Adler. Interestingly, the city has allowed limited interactions between members of the same household and at essential businesses, but nothing more. Further, large public gatherings are expressly forbidden by the city, such as a crowded protest.
Looks to me like someone violated his own stay at home order. https://t.co/ieWLkvQ9oq
— Mackenzie Kelly ❗️ (@mkelly007) June 8, 2020
6. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles, California
Like many liberal politicians, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti took to the streets with Black Lives Matter protestors. He was photographed kneeling down among the crowd just days ago, without wearing a mask. LA County asks residents to cover their nose and mouth with a mask (or alternate form of cloth face covering) when in public near other people, while maintaining the social distance of 6 feet when at all possible and avoiding places where large groups are congregated together. Garcetti and other LA County politicians ask their residents to report their neighbors for the behavior exhibited by their mayor.
Will you be self quarantining since you were on your knees a few days ago without a mask? https://t.co/eyL43S6Syp pic.twitter.com/tLPK0DwQeF
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) June 11, 2020
7. Mayor Ted Wheeler, Portland, Oregon
Oregon has been under a limited lockdown since May 15, which limits gatherings to 25 people. Like so many other cities with similar restrictions, the black lives matter protests have ignored those limits. Among the protesters in Portland is Mayor Ted Wheeler, who even spoke at the large Portland protest.
8. Mayor Riley Hill, Ontario, Oregon
Like his fellow mayor in Portland, Ontario Mayor Riley Hill participated the Black Lives Matter protests in his city, joining crowds in the hundreds. That’s certainly more than the legally permitted 25 people.
For many Democrats, it appears stay-at-home rules apply to thee, but not for me.