WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mayor Muriel Bowser, less than one day after issuing a new mandate requiring anyone over the age of two to wear a mask indoors regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, was photographed maskless at a wedding, leading to intense criticism of the Democratic leader.
Bowser had decreed that the new mask mandate – brought about by spiking cases of COVID-19 in light of the spread of the new, more contagious Delta variant, especially among unvaccinated – would go into effect Saturday morning.
However, the D.C. Mayor later officiated a wedding that very Saturday evening, and while the ceremony itself was outdoors on a rooftop, a photo has circulated of Bowser sitting indoors, sans mask, with witnesses purporting that she was not eating or drinking at the time.
Bowser has been accused of disregarding her own pandemic rules in the past as well, attending President Biden’s November election victory party in Delaware, despite her listing the state as being at “high-risk” for COVID transmission due to the high infection rate. However, she defended attending the party, saying that it was “essential travel” and she was going in her “official capacity” as Mayor of Washington, D.C.
Other Democratic leaders have been called out in the recent past for appearing to flout their own pandemic restrictions, including Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who breached citywide lockdown orders to get her hair done, saying she did it because she was “the public face of this city.” Lightfoot also was bashed for hosting a large music festival last week – Lollapalooza – amid talk of potentially reinstating pandemic restrictions due to the COVID-19 Delta surge.
California Governor Gavin Newsom, in November, was seen maskless at a semi-indoors California Medical Association party, later calling the move a “bad mistake.”
And most infamously, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was slammed in September when she ventured out during a strict San Francisco pandemic lockdown to get her hair done; when video emerged of the incident, she claimed that the salon’s owner had “set her up.”