DC Mayor Muriel Bowser reportedly went unmasked at wedding after reimposing indoor mask mandate

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser reportedly went unmasked at wedding after reimposing indoor mask mandate
·3 min read
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser stands behind a podium.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at a news conference in June 2021. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
  • DC Mayor Muriel Bowser officiated and attended a wedding and reception Saturday unmasked, the Washington Examiner reported.

  • Bowser on Friday announced she was reimposing the city's mask order following a rise in COVID-19 cases.

  • Hundreds of people were unmasked at the reception, according to the report.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser officiated and attending a wedding Saturday night in Washington with "hundreds" of unmasked guests after reimposing the city's indoor mask mandate, the Washington Examiner reported.

According to the report, the Saturday night nuptials and reception took place at The LINE DC, a hotel in the city's Adams Morgan neighborhood. In addition to hundreds of unmasked guests at the reception, Bowser was also observed unmasked, the Examiner reported.

The Examiner also published a photo appearing to show Bowser sitting at a table maskless with other maskless guests, but Insider has not independently confirmed the photo.

The mayor was not actively eating or drinking, as the reinstated guidelines set by the DC Department of Health over the weekend required, the conservative news outlet reported.

The mandate requires masks to be worn indoors with few exceptions.

Representatives for Bowser and The LINE DC did not immediately return Insider's request for comment.

"On Saturday, July 31st, Mayor Bowser officiated an outdoor, rooftop wedding ceremony, followed by an indoor dinner," a Bowser spokesperson told Fox 5 DC. "The Mayor wore a mask indoors in compliance with the mandate, and the organizers and venue staff worked to create a safe environment for the staff and guests."

The statement did not mention the photograph published by the Examiner.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week said fully vaccinated individuals should wear face masks in areas of the country with high levels of COVID-19 transmission. The move was a shift for the agency, which said in May that masks were no longer necessary in most settings for fully vaccinated people.

Bowser on Friday announced the return of the indoor mask mandate, effective in the city Saturday, noting the uptick in local cases. According to data analyzed by The New York Times, DC over the past week reported an average of 57 new COVID-19 cases each day. The city was reporting an average of 9 new cases a week at the end of June, according to the data.

"We want to get ahead of it and nip it in the bud," she said at a press conference, according to DCist. "We know that masks can be very effective in doing that."

But a new surge in cases nationwide driven by the more contagious Delta variant of the disease and new science that indicated that vaccinated individuals could spread the variant led to the change in the agency's guidance, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said last week.

According to data from the DC Department of Health, about 54% of residents in the city are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while about 63% of them are at least partially vaccinated.

While breakthrough infections are possible, experts and data suggest that the vaccines remain pivotal in preventing serious illness and death. According to DC data, there have been 200 reported breakthrough cases in the city out of more than 375,000 fully vaccinated individuals. A total of four vaccinated people have died from the virus in the city, according to the data.

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