Democratic Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser was caught officiating a maskless indoor wedding reception Saturday, less than 24 hours into her new indoor mask mandate.
“Not 24 hours into the indoor mask mandate she imposed on DC, Muriel Bowser officiated an indoor wedding in Adams Morgan and stayed to fete with *hundreds* of fellow maskless guests,” according to Tiana Lowe at the Washington Examiner.
“When encountered by the Washington Examiner, Mayor Bowser confirmed that she officiated the maskless, indoor wedding, but when asked why she was violating her own mask mandate, her security retinue quickly escorted her away,” Lowe added. The outlet also noted that Bowser was not sitting at her designated table during the wedding toasts.
Bowser announced Thursday that District residents aged 2 and older must begin wearing masks indoors Saturday regardless of vaccination status.
When encountered by the Washington Examiner, Mayor Bowser confirmed that she officiated the maskless, indoor wedding, but when asked why she was violating her own mask mandate, her security retinue quickly escorted her away. https://t.co/hY0Ji2zqnj pic.twitter.com/xozhIupSin
— Tiana Lowe (@TianaTheFirst) August 1, 2021
On Friday, Bowser raised eyebrows for posing maskless with comedian Dave Chapelle just hours before her mandate went into effect. The Daily Wire reported:
The mayor’s office released a statement on Friday announcing that comedian Dave Chappelle would be performing in the District this weekend, with his first performance Friday night at The Anthem. Chappelle is headlining the first live public event at the venue since March 2020 and has been branded as the official re-opening of The Anthem.
Coincidentally, Bowser attended the Friday night performance — the night before the mask mandate went into effect. Masks were required at The Anthem for the show, but the District’s mandate was not in effect, allowing Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio to meet with Chappelle and pose for a photo without wearing masks.
Bowser’s leadership throughout the pandemic has been a source of repeated criticism and multiple lawsuits. In 2020, she repeatedly gave herself and other Democrats a pass in the name of “essential” government business. Around the same time a D.C. pub frequented by Trump supporters was fined thousands for violating her restrictions, Bowser traveled to celebrate Biden’s electoral victory with a crowd in Wilmington, Delaware, one of the “high-risk states” from whose visitors she demanded a 14-day quarantine at the time. The mayor’s office assured both Fox 5 and NBC 4 that her trip to the Biden victory speech was “essential travel” because she met with senior Biden adviser Symone Sanders in her official capacity.
“I do a lot of things to advance the interests of the District of Columbia, and some of them are formal, and some of them are informal, but all of them are necessary,” Bowser said.
The “essential travel” excuse also applied to lawmakers who attended the late Rep. John Lewis’ funeral in Atlanta last summer. Georgia was also a high-risk state that required mandatory two-week quarantine post-travel. The federal lawmakers who crammed into the crowded pews to listen to eulogies from former presidents, however, were exempt from Bowser’s mandate.
Bowser’s press secretary, Susana Castillo, characterized the ceremony as an “essential” government activity, telling Just the News, “Government activity is essential, and the Capitol of the United States is exempt from the Mayor’s Order.”
Both Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., sued Bowser for her strict lockdowns on church attendance. In July, the District of Columbia and Bowser agreed to pay $220,000 as part of a settlement with Capitol Hill Baptist Church.
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