Mayor London Breed said “I need to hold myself to a higher standard” in response to criticism of a recent meal at a Napa Valley restaurant. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Mayor London Breed said “I need to hold myself to a higher standard” in response to criticism of a recent meal at a Napa Valley restaurant. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Breed calls criticism for French Laundry trip ‘fair’

Mayor said she regrets that actions ‘distracted’ from public health message as COVID-19 cases rise

Mayor London Breed on Thursday called criticism of attending a dinner party in Napa Valley “fair” and expressed regret for the timing as coronavirus cases proliferate.

Breed dined with seven others in early November at the upscale Yountville restaurant French Laundry in a partially enclosed room outdoors, the San Francisco Chronicle first reported earlier this week. Indoor dining was allowed in Napa County at the time but social gatherings were strongly discouraged.

Three days later, Breed barred indoor dining in San Francisco due to rapidly rising coronavirus cases.

“It doesn’t matter whether something is technically allowed or not — I need to hold myself to a higher standard and I will do better,” Breed wrote.

Breed attended the gathering one night after Gov. Gavin Newsom attended an even larger gathering at the same upscale restaurant for a lobbyist, in an event that has drawn widespread criticism.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo has also drawn heat for attending an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner with four other households, exceeding state guidelines for private gatherings of no more than three households, after telling people to cancel plans for big gatherings amid the holidays.

Breed specifically called a San Francisco Chronicle editorial “fair” in noting that the three California politicians look hypocritical and are now in the “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” club.

Such actions have damaged their credibility at a time when coronavirus cases are at their highest point in the pandemic and holiday gatherings are expected to overwhelm hospitals, leading to more deaths.

“What I especially regret is that the urgency of our public health message in this moment has never been more dire and my actions have distracted from that,” Breed added Thursday. “We’re in a much different place than even just a few weeks ago and we need everyone to do their part, starting with me.”

The statement came shortly before Newsom announced on Thursday that shelter-in-place orders will again take effect for regions with low intensive care capacity; the order is expected to take effect in the Bay Area in mid-to-late December. Intensive care unit beds in the region are 72 percent full and are projected to be fully occupied by early January without further measures.

Bay Area NewsCoronavirusPoliticssan francisco news

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Second grader Genesis Ulloa leads students in an after-school community hub in a game at the Mission YMCA on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF parents face school year with hope, trepidation and concern

‘Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it’

Health care workers in the intensive care unit at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, with Alejandro Balderas, a 44-year-old patient who later died. Even in California, a state with a coronavirus vaccination rate well above average, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database. (Isadora Kosofsky/The New York Times)
Why COVID took off in California, again

‘The good news is: The vaccines are working’

Lake Oroville stood at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
A kayaker on the water at Lake Oroville, which stands at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Oroville, Calif. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
Facing ‘dire water shortages,’ California bans Delta pumping

By Rachel Becker CalMatters In an aggressive move to address “immediate and… Continue reading

Most Read