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Monday, September 27, 2021
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COVID-19Mayor Rich Tran attended council meeting, community events after allegedly being exposed...

Mayor Rich Tran attended council meeting, community events after allegedly being exposed to COVID-19

Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran allegedly attended Tuesday evening’s city council meeting without alerting his council colleagues that he had been exposed to COVID-19 last week.

On Monday evening, an individual believed to be the owner of The G, a cocktail bar on South Main Street, commented on the mayor’s Facebook page that the bar had 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 –– with 7 of the cases in fully vaccinated individuals. 

“You were at my business on Wednesday and Thursday,” the individual wrote. “Both of the people that were serving you are positive for Covid. I tested negative on Wednesday when I saw you. Got a cough Friday and found out Saturday that I’m actually positive.”

The individual went on to say that someone who the mayor was conversing with outside also tested positive. On Wednesday morning, a sign could be seen outside The G alerting patrons that the bar was closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

 

 

 

Tran confirmed that he was at The G last Wednesday and Thursday. However, he denied that he was exposed to COVID-19. Tran claims that the owner told him at the time that they were safe to be open. He added that his monthly karaoke with the mayor event, which is usually held at The G, was canceled last week because the DJ was unavailable. 

“They want to see me positive,” Tran told The Beat of his political rivals. “I’m really disappointed that people are trying to use my everyday being out in public to sort of criminalize me.” 

The mayor said he took a COVID-19 test yesterday and this morning, and both returned negative results. The G did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Councilwoman Karina Dominguez, who found out about the potential exposure from people who’d been at the bar, said she has requested the City move back to remote meetings –– especially as COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara County continue to rise. 

The August 17 meeting was only the second in-person meeting the council has held since the start of the pandemic.

Dominguez said that City employees and councilmembers are required to report to the human resources department if they’ve had a known COVID-19 exposure in the last two weeks. She believes the mayor failed to do just that.

“He failed to communicate this very information to many of us and potentially put our lives at risk,” she said. “I believe we as leaders shouldn’t act like that. We need to level up and do better.” 

The councilmember added that she also had to pay for a hotel to quarantine at because she lives with her parents. 

“For me, my mom is high risk, and I’ve worked really hard and follow protocol in my day job to not bring anything to my house that could expose my mom, who’s vulnerable, and could kill her.” 

Since Tran’s alleged exposure, he’s been seen at at least two community events –– one of which he was not wearing a mask at. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended last month that vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas with substantial or high transmission in light of the delta variant. 

According to the CDC’s website, the transmission of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County is high. As of August 18, the seven-day average of new cases is 315, and the positive test rate is 3.3 percent –– up more than one percent from the month prior. 

Vice Mayor Carmen Montano and Councilwoman Evelyn Chua could not immediately be reached for comment. Councilman Anthony Phan declined to comment. A spokesperson for the City also declined to comment, deferring to Tran.

 

 

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Grace Hase
Grace Hase is a Bay Area-based freelance journalist. She previously worked as a reporter for Metro Silicon Valley/San Jose Inside where she covered San Jose City Hall, transportation, housing policy and the Covid-19 pandemic. Grace holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Journalism in Investigative Reporting from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Why are both Mayor Tran and Vice Mayor Montano without masks in that photo, while the other 3 (including Council member Evelyn Chua) are masked? I expect my representatives to be an example of good behavior for the community.

  2. Where is his Mask? Super irresponsible. Also where is the post on Mayor Tran’s facebook page? He is not supposed to delete postings on his Official Mayors facebook page. It’s against the law if he did. But then again he has a history of doing and saying controversial things then deleting them.

  3. Council member Dominguez has my respect and I hope she is able to continue keeping her mother safe. Mayor Tran should set an example for the community and continue to wear a mask in order to reduce possible transmission, regardless of whether he is vaccinated or not. Just because many people have contracted and survived COVID does not make it OK to put people at risk of finding out they are the case that does not survive. It is not a joke when peoples’ lives are at risk, and he is in a position to protect them by simply wearing a mask.

  4. Council members are invited to social events to represent the city of Milpitas. The Association of IndoAmericans-AIA held this event to celebrate India’s Independence from British rule.
    We all followed protocol and wore our mask throughout the event. It was only when guest were invited to speak when they briefly removed their mask to speak. If you notice in the pic my mask is still hanging on my ear and the Mayor is holding his. In my hand is the commendation. We spoke and presented the award to the AIA. It’s unfortunate that this wonderful event is being politicized.
    The economy is now open and we are invited to speak at different social events, because of this we are tested frequently. For the record I have been vaccinated and get tested after any social gathering or any open city council meeting.
    My test results as of Thursday are negative.
    Carmen Montano

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