Outrage as LA County Supervisor Bans Outdoor Dining, Then Dines Outdoors

Los Angeles residents and others have expressed outrage after LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was seen eating outdoors hours after voting to ban outdoor dining throughout the county.

On November 24, Kuehl voted to ban all in-person dining at L.A. County restaurants for the next three weeks as the county experienced a dramatic resurgence in cases throughout November. On the same day, the county reported 5,544 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, its highest-ever daily total of new cases, according to official figures.

"This is a serious health emergency and we must take it seriously," Kuehl said at the meeting before the measure passed in a 3-2 vote. "The servers are not protected from us, and they're not protected from their other tables that they're serving at that particular time, plus all the hours in which they're working."

Los Angeles Sheila Kuehl outdoor dining hypocrite
Los Angeles residents have expressed outrage via Twitter when Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl was discovered dining outdoors mere hours after she voted to ban outdoor dining throughout the county as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19. In this November 21, 2020 photo, a restaurant staff member wearing a face mask and gloves turns on an outdoor heater for customers dining outdoors at M.B. Post in Manhattan Beach, California. Patrick T. Fallon / AFP/Getty

Although the ban was not set to take effect until the following night, Kuehl was seen eating at Il Forno Trattoria, an Italian restaurant near her Santa Monica home hours after her vote. Kuehl has issued a statement explaining her actions, but people are still angrily accusing her of hypocrisy.

After FOX 11 first reported Kuehl's restaurant outing on Monday, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn who opposed the outdoor dining ban, told the news station, "We have to remember that we who are in public office are held to a very high standard, as we should be."

"One of the things I'm realizing with some of these new restrictions is if we can't garner the trust of the public to be with us in this fight against the virus, then we've lost a big battle, and I'm feeling that now, nine months into this, is we're beginning to lose the trust of the public."

Others, particularly conservatives, have since expressed anger and disappointment with Kuehl on Twitter, though non-conservatives have as well.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel wrote, "The hypocrisy on display from Democrat elected officials all across the country is unreal."

Los Angeles Democrat Supervisor Sheila Kuehl voted to ban outdoor dining.

Hours later, she was caught dining at an outdoor restaurant.

The hypocrisy on display from Democrat elected officials all across the country is unreal.https://t.co/1nW1KfDY9t

— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) December 1, 2020

Richard Grenell, former acting director of National Intelligence under the Trump Administration, wrote, "Politicians like @SheilaKuehl and @GavinNewsom are control freaks. And Restaurant owners are furious."

In his tweet, Grenell tagged Kuehl and Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom, who was widely criticized after allegedly eating at a November 6 dinner party at the French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California in defiance of COVID-19 protocols he himself helped implement in the state.

Politicians like @SheilaKuehl and @GavinNewsom are control freaks.

And Restaurant owners are furious. pic.twitter.com/WGEYz3bpGH

— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) December 1, 2020

The official twitter account of the California Senate GOP Caucus wrote, "Another example of a Democrat leader 'Do As I Say, Not As I Do,' attitude."

Another example of a Democrat leader "Do As I Say, Not As I Do," attitude - this time from LA County Supervisor @SheilaKuehl who voted to close outdoor dining in LA County and then promptly dines at a restaurant she voted to close.https://t.co/5Z0jlOSIGI

— CA Senate GOP Caucus (@SenateRepCaucus) December 1, 2020

Comedian and author Sarah Colonna wrote, "Hi @SheilaKuehl. This type of behavior is why there's so much divisiveness. No excuse for this," adding, "It's BS. No way to 'lead.'"

And yes she ate out while it was still permissible. But she said how dangerous it is, voted to close, then went for a meal out. It’s BS. No way to “lead.”

— Sarah Colonna (@sarahcolonna) December 1, 2020

Conservative comedian and talk show host Dave Ruben wrote, "Hi @SheilaKuehl, as a concerned citizen of Los Angeles I'd like to know what you had for dinner at the Italian restaurant the same night you voted to close all the restaurants? Also, what wine goes well with power hungry mania?"

Hi @SheilaKuehl, as a concerned citizen of Los Angeles I’d like to know what you had for dinner at the Italian restaurant the same night you voted to close all the restaurants? Also, what wine goes well with power hungry mania? https://t.co/LiAMnVOria

— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) December 1, 2020

LGBTQ sportswriter Cyd Zeigler wrote, "It's official: Newsomitis is contagious. @SheilaKuehl voted to close restaurants in LA then went and dined at a restaurant. This is why so many people have stopped listening to our elected officials in California. Complete failure in leadership."

It's official: Newsomitis is contagious.@SheilaKuehl voted to close restaurants in LA then went and dined at a restaurant.

This is why so many people have stopped listening to our elected officials in California. Complete failure in leadership. https://t.co/QJCRmyqMiq

— Cyd Zeigler (@CydZeigler) December 1, 2020

In a statement released Tuesday, Kuehl's spokesperson said, "Kuehl has eaten at Il Forno Trattoria virtually every night for many years, and on the last night that it was permitted by the county health orders, she dined there al fresco taking appropriate precautions as recommended by the Department of Public Health."

The spokesperson added that after the outdoor dining ban went into effect, Kuehl has continued to supporting the restaurant by ordering takeout nightly, and encourages others to do the same "while we get through this challenging period."

In a Tuesday interview with Spectrum News 1 SoCal reporter Alex Cohen, Kuehl claimed that she went to the restaurant to personally deliver the news of the coming ban, and defended herself against critics who said the ban would financially harm countless restaurants and their workers. "It is very hard to do without your paycheck... but it is even harder to do without breathing," she said.

Newsweek contacted Kuehl's office for comment.