Justin Sullivan/Getty San Francisco Mayor London Breed
The mayor of San Francisco is pushing back at critics after a viral video showed her dancing without a mask last week at a crowded indoor nightclub.
"We don't need the fun police to come in and try and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn't be doing," Mayor London Breed told reporters on Friday, The Washington Post reports.
Breed was seen dancing among a largely unmasked audience during a concert at Black Cat, a San Francisco night club, on Wednesday. Her moves — and mask-free face — were captured on video by a San Francisco Chronicle reporter who was also at the venue, where Tony! Toni! Toné! members Raphael Saadiq and D'Wayne Wiggins performed.
"The fact that we have not been able to enjoy live music in this way since the beginning of this pandemic made it even that much more special and extraordinary," Breed told the Chronicle after the performance. "I was really honored and really in disbelief when I sat here and watched what I felt was history in the making."
— Mariecar Mendoza (@SFMarMendoza) September 16, 2021
As video of the dancing mayor racked up more than 2.4 million views on Twitter, critics called out Breed on social media for ignoring her city's mask mandate amid COVID-19. San Francisco and surrounding counties require patrons to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status while not actively eating or drinking.
The Black Cat, though, serves food and drinks. According to the Chronicle report — which mentions that its reporter also did not wear a mask during the interview — the mayor was at a table full of drinks and was seen sipping during her night out.
"I'm not going to sip and put my mask on, sip and put my mask on, sip and put my mask on," Breed said at the Friday press conference. "While I'm eating and I'm drinking, I'm going to keep my mask off."
The mayor also brought up San Francisco's proof-of-vaccination requirement for customers to enter restaurants and bars. "Make sure you are vaccinated because of the requirements," she said, "but don't feel as though you have to be micromanaged about mask-wearing."
According to the city's data, 73 percent of San Francisco residents are fully vaccinated.
Breed, who was criticized previously for dining at the upscale eatery French Laundry in the California wine country while restaurants in San Francisco were closed to indoor dining, said she got caught up in the moment during her night out at Black Cat. Other politicians, like California Gov. Gavin Newsom, have drawn backlash for behavior that violated public health rules during the pandemic.
"I got up and started dancing because I was feeling the spirit," Breed said Friday, "and I wasn't thinking about a mask."