Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser denied violating her new indoor mask mandate over the weekend despite photos showing her maskless at an indoor wedding reception.
As Townhall previously reported, Bowser officiated a wedding Saturday at a hotel in the Adams Morgan neighborhood that featured hundreds of maskless guests. Photographs showed the mayor maskless at a table while not actively eating or drinking, a violation of the new D.C. mask mandate that went into effect that morning.
Reporters seeking comment on Bowser’s maskless endeavor during the event were blockaded from the mayor by her security.
However, following the wedding, Bowser’s office denied that the mayor violated the newly reinstated mask mandate and instead said that she was in compliance with the rule and wore a face covering while indoors.
“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 statement to FOX 5 reads. “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 continues.
The photos that show Bowser maskless at the wedding were not addressed in her office’s statement.
Sophie Penichet, the general manager at the wedding venue, The LINE, told the D.C. FOX affiliate that masks are required by guests while in indoor settings.
“The safety of our team, guests and wider community is our utmost priority,” Penichet said. “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.”
Bowser officiated the wedding less than 24 hours after photos surfaced of her maskless at her birthday celebration on Friday that featured comedian Dave Chappelle.
This comes on the heels of the district’s new indoor mask mandate, which was announced after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance on COVID-19 protocol and recommended that Americans wear masks indoors in areas of high transmission, regardless of whether they have received the vaccine.