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Small Towns Cope With Shutdowns During COVID-19 Pandemic

Source: Scott Olson / Getty

If you can’t even get your own wife to follow a stay-at-home order, you’ve got a serious problem on your hands.

Last week an Illinois mayor made a point of calling out his own constituents for ignoring a stay-at-home order issued by the governor. Though you’re probably more than familiar now, that order prohibits public and private gatherings “of any number of people outside a single household or living unit.”

Brant Walker, the mayor of Alton (about 15 miles, from St. Louis) said the following during a Friday briefing: “These are very serious times and I’m begging you to please stay at home,” he said. “And parents, please keep your kids at home — doing so is vital to our health.” Not only that, Walker also told local police to step up enforcement by giving out citations to those who violated the order.

Unfortunately for Walker, only one day later, the police busted a gathering of several people at a local bar, One of them being none other than the mayor’s own wife, Shannon Walker.

The mayor issued an apology to residents on Monday, admitting that his wife displayed a “stunning lack of judgment,” and that he was “embarrassed” by the whole thing. He was made aware of what happened when he was contacted by the chief of police at 1 a.m. on Sunday.

“My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance she exhibited a stunning lack of judgement,” the mayor told his people. “I am embarrassed by this incident and apologize to the citizens of Alton for any embarrassment this incident may cause our City.”

Embarrassment, indeed.


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