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San Francisco mayor who dined at the French Laundry apologizes 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed says it is ‘fair’ to criticize her after she was spotted dining out last month.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Breed celebrated socialite Gorretti Lo Lui’s 60th birthday on November 7 at the three-star Michelin restaurant the French Laundry in Yountville. 

It was just one day after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s infamous dinner party at the same restaurant. 

‘This criticism is fair,’ Breed tweeted on Thursday in response to an op-ed by the Chronicle Editorial Board chastising the dinner.

‘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.’

She continued: ‘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. 

‘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. 

It comes as the Bay Area implemented a regional stay-at-home order on Friday and Breed said the state is expected to ‘run out of hospital beds’ by December 26.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed apologized for dining at three-star restaurant French Laundry in Napa County on November 7

San Francisco Mayor London Breed apologized for dining at three-star restaurant French Laundry in Napa County on November 7

Although Breed didn't break any rules, she said the criticism of her was 'fair' and that she would 'do better.' Pictured: Breed speaks during a press conference, March 16

Although Breed didn’t break any rules, she said the criticism of her was ‘fair’ and that she would ‘do better.’ Pictured: Breed speaks during a press conference, March 16

The dinner was a birthday party for Lui, the vice president of the San Francisco Symphony’s Board of Governors. 

Her husband, Lawrence Lui, is the president of Stanford Hotels and a hotel developer whose father is Hong Kong billionaire Che-woo Lui. 

The dinner, which was first reported by the Chronicle, did not violate any of the city’s rules on dining.  

At the time, both indoor and outdoor dining was allowed in San Francisco and Breed dined in a semi-enclosed space.

The group dined in a similar partially enclosed room as Newsom did at the restaurant the day before. 

But Breed’s dinner with people outside of her immediate household seemed to contradict warnings given to San Francisco resident just days earlier for Halloween about the very same issue.   

Napa County is now among 41 counties that can only serve outdoors.  

Just three days after dining at the restaurant, Breed banned indoor dining in San Francisco altogether. 

‘Now, with case rates rising, and Bay Area counties moving back into the purple tier, she is once again limiting her actions and is encouraging all San Franciscans to do the same,’ Breed’s spokesperson said. 

In a November 10 statement, Breed, who has issued stricter guidance than the entire state for restaurants and other businesses, said: ‘I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that everyone act responsibly to reduce the spread of the virus.

‘Every San Franciscan needs to do their part so that we can start moving in the right direction again.’

Breed was the first mayor in the U.S. to issue a city-wide lockdown at the start of the pandemic. On March 16, she ordered that all residents stay home for three weeks and banned all non-essential activities. California issued a statewide order three days later on March 19. 

Her participation in the birthday celebration came just a day after Newsom was photographed dining at the French Laundry. 

Breed's participation in the birthday celebration came just a day after Newsom (pictured on November 6 during a gathering) was photographed dining at the French Laundry

Breed’s participation in the birthday celebration came just a day after Newsom (pictured on November 6 during a gathering) was photographed dining at the French Laundry

On Friday, California recorded 22,018 new coronavirus cases (left) and 145 deaths (right)

On Friday, California recorded 22,018 new coronavirus cases (left) and 145 deaths (right)

Following the incident, Newsom said he made a ‘bad mistake’ by attending a friend’s birthday dinner during a spike in coronavirus cases and promised to ‘own it’ and move forward. 

His administration didn’t acknowledge the dinner until a week later when a reporter was tipped and asked about it.

Newsom apologized and described the dinner as outdoors. 

But photos show Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, sitting maskless around a crowded table of 12 inside a room that was enclosed on three sides. 

The fourth side was open, though the woman who took the photos and provided them to Fox 11 said a sliding glass door eventually was closed after Newsom’s group became loud. 

Newsom’s gathering was followed by another that involved eight California lawmakers who flew to Hawaii for a policy conference despite health officials warning against out-of-state travel. 

At least seven assemblymembers and one state senator from districts around California were among 75 people who attended a conference last month hosted by the Independent Voter Project (IVP) at the five-star Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel in Wailea, Maui, according to the Los Angeles Times.  

 

Several of those legislators have now come out to defend their decision to ignore California’s travel warnings – arguing that their attending the conference was important because it includes discussions about pandemic policies. 

The eight who attended are as follows: Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R – O’Neals), State Senator Andreas Borgeas (R – Modesto), Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (D – Los Angeles), Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R – Pasa Robles), Assemblyman Heath Flora (R – Ripon), Assemblyman Chad Mayes (I – Rancho Mirage), Assemblyman Jose Medina (D – Riverside) and Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D – Baldwin Park). 

California is one of two states that have surpassed 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Texas became the first state to surpass the 1 million mark last month. 

There are more than 1.2 million cases of the virus in the state with at least 19,141 deaths. 

According to the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, within the last three weeks, ‘SF’s COVID-19 cases have tripled’. 

‘We have more virus circulating than ever before, and it shows no signs of slowing down. We all need to do our part to protect everyone. #StayHome as much as possible and do NOT travel or gather indoors,’ the agency wrote on Tuesday. 


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