- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney apologized Monday after a now-viral photo showed him dining indoors in Maryland, while indoor dining remains prohibited in his own city due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I know some are upset that I dined indoors at a restaurant in Maryland yesterday,” Mr. Kenney tweeted. “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. Regardless, I understand the frustration.

“Restaurant owners are among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” he added. “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.”

His comments came after Philadelphia restaurateur Marc Vetri shared a photo on Instagram apparently showing Mr. Kenney dining inside a restaurant Sunday.

The mayor’s office later confirmed he went to “patronize a restaurant owned by a friend of his.”

“For what it’s worth, he also went to Rouge to enjoy outdoor dining in Philly on the way home,” the mayor’s office said in a statement Sunday night. “He looks forward to expanding indoor dining locally next week.”

“Of course we understand the frustrations of local restaurant owners who have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” the statement continued. “But there are 782 total cases in the county the mayor briefly visited, compared to over 33,000 cases in Philadelphia. Drastically different circumstances.”

Indoor dining in Philadelphia restaurants, which has been banned since March 16, is set to resume on Sept. 8 with several restrictions, including a 25% capacity limit.

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