WASHINGTON - The Washington Post’s Fact Checker isn’t buying D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s spin after she was caught on camera at an indoor portion of a Saturday wedding -- without a mask – just hours after restoring an indoor mask mandate in the nation’s capital.
The Fact Checker points out how the Mayor appears to be trying to pin the accusations of hypocrisy on a right-wing agenda after a Washington Examiner columnist took her picture at the wedding reception showing her without a mask.
Social media posts show many people attending the wedding Saturday at The LINE DC, a 5-star hotel in Adams Morgan.
When she was questioned about the photo showing her without a mask, Bowser fired back, saying the images didn’t show her the entire time she was there. She also noted that the mask mandate excludes occasions when someone is eating or drinking – and food and drink were being served at the reception.
Tiana Lowe – the columnist who took the picture – told the Washington Post that Bowser never put on her mask while she was seated at the reception. She did put it on when she left, Lowe said.
The Fact Checker suggests that Bowser rewrote her rules the next day, saying "We all know what the rules say about sitting at a dining table and dining."
Just the day before, FOX 5 spoke to a Johns Hopkins Epidemiologist who said in a Zoom interview, "If you are in office and you’re advocating for a certain policy, it’s important and just to be aware that people are going to be following you to see, you know, see whether you’re abiding by that policy too."
Dr. David Dowdy alluded to the point that when it comes to elected officials, controversial images that appear to show them not following their own COVID-19 guidance or rules, have the potential to undermine messaging, which he believes is the most important tool against coronavirus.
In discussing the messaging behind a mask order, Dowdy said, "The point of a mandate is to create that structure where everyone is going to have their mask on. Then when people walk into a room, not only will they feel like I need to put my mask on as well, but this is something I need to be taking a little seriously in the rest of my life. So if I’m planning that party of 100 people who are going to come over. Maybe I’m going to think twice."
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 Fact Checker summarizes by calling the incident "an embarrassing moment for the mayor."
In addition, the paper took her to task by deploying "partisan-laced spin and innuendo about ‘disinformation.’"
The Fact Checker notes that Lowe advocates for vaccines, but questions the efficacy of mask mandates.