Philadelphia mayor defends dining indoors in Maryland while restaurants are closed in his city

Philadelphia mayor defends dining indoors in Maryland while restaurants are closed in his city
© CBS affiliate

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) defended his decision to dine indoors in a Maryland restaurant even as his city's dine-in service remains suspended.

“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,” Kenney tweeted Monday.

“Restaurant owners are among the hardest hit by the pandemic. I’m sorry if my decision hurt those who’ve worked to keep their businesses going under difficult circumstances,” Kenney added, linking to an announcement from the city government touting the reopening of indoor dining Sept. 8. “Looking forward to reopening indoor dining soon and visiting my favorite spots.”

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Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri, a frequent critic of the indoor dining ban, posted a photo showing Kenney eating indoors in Maryland on Instagram on Monday.

“Glad you’re enjoying indoor dining with no social distancing or mask wearing in Maryland tonight while restaurants here in Philly close, suffer and fight for every nickel just to survive,” Vetri, the owner of the restaurants Vetri Cucina and Fiorella, wrote in the post. “I guess all your press briefings and your narrative of unsafe indoor dining don’t apply to you.”

 

 

A spokesperson for Kenney told the Philly Voice the mayor had also stopped at a local jaunt on the way home.

"For what it’s worth, [Kenney] also went to Rouge to enjoy outdoor dining in Philly on the way home," the spokesperson said. "He looks forward to expanding indoor dining locally next week."