The mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser, faces more backlash today after photos emerged of her attending an indoor wedding ceremony without a mask on Saturday, the same day her mask mandate went into effect.
The story: After announcing the mask mandate on Thursday, Bowser had already been photographed on Friday attending an indoor event with Dave Chappelle, both of whom were maskless, just hours before the mandate went into effect.
Then on Saturday, with the mandate in full force, media captured photos of her and several guests without masks at a wedding ceremony hosted at The Line DC, an upscale hotel in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood known as Adams Morgan.
Worth noting: During a press conference when the mask mandate was first announced, D.C. Department of Health Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt clarified, “[T]here is an obvious exception to wearing a mask if you are actively eating or drinking.”
In the photograph, Bowser is seated at a table and there appear to be drinks on the table, but it is unclear whether she was actively eating or drinking at the time.
Tiana Lowe of the Washington Examiner reported that when media approached Bowser to question why she was maskless despite her own mask mandate being in effect, her security team quickly ushered her away.
The big picture: Back in November 2020, Bowser faced similar criticism for her decision to attend President Joe Biden’s victory speech in Delaware while a quarantine order was in effect. She defended the trip by stating that it qualified as “essential travel,” which was exempt from the order.
These incidents are in addition to strong criticism of Bowser’s handling of the coronavirus from D.C. churches, some of whom filed suit against the District of Columbia for the stringent restrictions placed on church attendance. In July 2021, the District of Columbia settled with Capitol Hill Baptist Church for $220,000 over claims that the city violated the First Amendment by restricting outdoor worship while allowing other outdoor events.
See the photograph:
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