Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, has urged anyone travelling abroad to party during the coronavirus pandemic to rethink their actions.
LGBT+ people across the world have watched on in horror in recent weeks as queer people – largely cis, white gay men – flocked to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico for circuit parties, despite an alarming rise in the number of people contracting the virus in many parts of the world.
When asked if he had a message for those travelling abroad at a press conference on Thursday (7 January), Garcetti said there was “no issue towards the LGBT+ community per se”, making the wider plea: “This is not a time to be partying anywhere.”
LA mayor Eric Garcetti says a few days of fun could result in people dying.
The mayor continued: “There’s a mandatory isolation quarantine when you come back of 10 days if you leave this city, and right now the guidance is against that – full stop, period.
“Are you really going to have a few days of fun that results in somebody you know being hospitalised or worse yet, dying? Or even you? Don’t do it. I’ve said from the beginning of this, don’t be stupid.
“I know how tough it is right now, I know how much people need to be together, I know how much they want to be together. But if people die they will never be together.”
Garcetti’s comments come after an anonymous Instagram account, called GaysOverCovid, sparked a “civil war” within the LGBT+ community last week.
The account was set up in the summer of 2020 to call out queer people flouting coronavirus restrictions – but it has taken on a life of its own in recent weeks after a huge number of gay men travelled to Puerto Vallarta to attend New Year’s Eve festivities.
The account has won praise from many queer people for calling out bad behaviour that puts other people’s lives and health at risk – however, others have defended the queer people exposed on the account, criticising the anonymous curator for sharing details of their holidays in the process.