District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser appeared to be posing for photographs maskless at a party just a few hours before her Saturday mask mandate came into effect.
A now-deleted Friday night Instagram post with the caption, “When your asked to Dj for the Mayor!!! Happy Birthday @mayor_bowser,” showed the mayor with comedian Dave Chappelle and a few others at a celebration ahead of Bowser’s birthday, which falls on Monday.
Muriel Bowser mask mandate started at 5AM this morning.
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) July 31, 2021
None of them wore masks, according to a screenshot of the Instagram post shared in a Saturday morning Twitter update by Washington Examiner journalist Jerry Dunleavy.
Chapelle, who was born in D.C., is performing in the district this weekend, according to a news release from Bowser’s office.
“DC is open and we are so proud to welcome home Dave Chappelle,” the Democratic mayor said in the release.
“Washingtonians have waited months to be able to enjoy shows like this one again, and it makes it even sweeter to be able to reopen one of our favorite venues with a performance from one of the world’s most beloved comedians and a DC native, Dave Chappelle.”
The images of the mayor maskless come as Bowser on Friday was sharing posts on Twitter urging D.C. residents to wear masks as a precaution against COVID-19.
Let’s stay in this together, DC. By masking up, we can protect our community and keep DC open.
Read the latest mask guidance: https://t.co/PsVCaHcKad
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) July 30, 2021
Two days ago, the mayor announced that people in the district must wear facial coverings indoors, whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine or not, in a move that sparked swift backlash.
Bowser’s mask mandate was set to come into effect Saturday morning at 5.
The new mandate came days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines for vaccinated individuals, recommending that even those who have been vaccinated put on face coverings indoors like their unvaccinated counterparts.
Bowser’s and the CDC’s moves come amid concerns over the more contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.
The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ query, asking if “the mask mandate was put into effect Saturday so she could celebrate her birthday on Friday,” according to the outlet.
Delta has demonstrated the capability of breaking through vaccinated people. This variant, first discovered in India, is now one of the most dominant coronavirus strains in the United States.
According to UCDavis Health, there have been 65,000 breakthrough cases among the 160 million fully vaccinated individuals in the country, as of July 23.
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“Recent research found that the Delta variant grows more rapidly — and to much greater levels — in the respiratory tract,” UCDavis stated.
“As long as a chunk of people across the world are unvaccinated, new strains of the virus will continue to develop and cause problems.”
This is not the first time Bowser has gone against her own recommendations or guidelines. She was criticized for attending President Joe Biden’s victory speech in November despite Delaware being a state at “high risk” of COVID-19 infections, according to Fox News.
When asked about it, her office brushed the question away by asserting it was “essential travel,” the outlet reported.