Videos and photos circulating on social media show a maskless D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser officiating a large wedding in the District on Saturday despite a newly reinstated indoor mask mandate in the nation’s capital.
Social media posts show many people attending the wedding Saturday at The LINE DC, a 5-star hotel in Adams Morgan.
Bowser officiated the wedding on the hotel’s rooftop before drinks and dancing that later headed inside.
Bowser officiated the event less than 24 hours after being photographed maskless with comedian Dave Chappelle on Friday night at The Anthem, where Chappelle performed a comedy set. That celebration occurred a few days before Bowser’s birthday on Monday.
Bowser reinstated an indoor mask mandate in D.C., regardless of vaccination status, following the alarming surge in new COVID-19 infections driven by the Delta variant.
DC Health’s Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt says the daily case rate has gone up five-fold since the beginning of July, and The District currently has a “substantial” rate of transmission as the variant spreads across the country.
“Given the trends in cases that we see, we want to get ahead of it, nip it in the bud,” Bowser said Thursday. “We know masks can be very effective in doing that.”
The Washington Examiner first reported Mayor Bowser’s presence at the largely unmasked event.
Bowser’s office sent FOX 5 this statement that says in part:
“On Saturday, July 31st, Mayor Bowser officiated an outdoor, rooftop wedding ceremony, followed by an indoor dinner. 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 Friday, July 30th evening event called into question by conservative media was outdoors, on a rooftop.”
“We continue to emphasize everyone should be vaccinated as soon as possible and to wear a mask at indoor public settings to protect yourself, your loved ones and your neighbors,” the statement reads.
The statement did not address a published photo of a maskless Mayor Bowser inside during the wedding dinner, and not eating or drinking.
Sophie Penichet, general manager at The LINE, said in a statement that the hotel does not comment on guests at private events.
“The safety of our team, guests and wider community is our utmost priority. The Line Hotel is adhering to the updated mask mandate and requires all employees and guests to be masked when indoors, or not actively eating or drinking,” Penichet tells FOX 5.