Last week, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that everyone would have to wear a face mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Bowser cited a rise in COVID-19 cases and the delta variant as the reason behind the new mandate.
What was odd at the time, however, was that the new mandate didn’t go into effect immediately. If the delta variant was so dangerous, why wait? The new mandate was announced Thursday but wouldn’t go into effect until Saturday. Why wait two days for something allegedly so important?
The answer was revealed on Friday.
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.
— John J. Falcicchio (@falcicchio) July 31, 2021
Falcicchio tweeted the photo Friday night, when just a day earlier he tweeted, “We’re all in this together, and we’ll get through this together. #MaskUpDC.” Included in the tweet was a photo of the new mask announcement saying, “Effective Saturday, July 31 at 5:00 a.m., all people over the age of two must wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status.”
The perceived hypocrisy of Muriel’s mandate vs. her personal behavior is the latest for Democrats, who have pushed mandates on the general public while personally ignoring them. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) is one of the biggest offenders, most recently pulling his children out of a summer camp after it was revealed they were not wearing masks despite the governor’s orders for the rest of the state. As The Daily Wire reported, Newsom’s spokeswoman Erin Mellon claimed the Newsoms merely missed an email from the camp saying that children would not be required to mask.
It was a difficult claim for many to believe, given Newsom’s history of defying his own orders. Last year, Newsom attended a dinner at a ritzy restaurant without following the rules he had imposed on the rest of California, including no masks, and no social distancing while indoors. Further, more people attended the dinner than were allowed at the time. Also at the dinner were two top officials from the California Medical Association.
Bowser herself had previously disregarded her own in-place orders while claiming it was due to “essential” government business. From The Daily Wire:
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 apparent victory with a crowd in Wilmington, Delaware, one of the “high-risk states” from which she normally demands a 14-day quarantine if anyone visits. 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.
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