Maskless Mayors and Governors
Updated: Dec 25, 2021
While the majority of local officials/state officials have implemented mask mandates through executive order, they do not adhere to their own rules. Several politicians throughout the country have been caught violating their own mask mandates. They have demanded that the people bow to the mandate, without having to obey it themselves.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a Democrat, was photographed by The San Francisco Chronicle at the Black Cat nightclub without a mask. She was singing and dancing with two members of the act Tony! Toni! Toné! The San Francisco Department of Public Health established an order that required individuals to wear a mask at indoor venues, even if the individual was vaccinated unless the individual was eating or drinking.
She defended her actions to The Chronicle, stating “at the end of the day, everyone who comes [to the Black Cat nightclub] has to show proof of vaccination,” and that she “started dancing because [she] was feeling the spirit and [she] wasn’t thinking about a mask. [She] was thinking about having a good time.” Her mask mandate does not exempt vaccinated individuals.
People in the video are voicing the same concerns about masking and restaurants that millions of people have wondered about and share frustration with the hypocrisy of Breed’s policies versus her practices.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, was also seen not wearing a mask while attending lobbyist Jason Kinney’s birthday dinner at a restaurant in Napa Valley. At the time, California’s guidance stated that gatherings could include no more than people from three different households. The party had twelve attendees from six different households.
Newsom apologized for his behavior, saying, “while our family followed the restaurant's health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner.” The following week, he asked state residents to “limit interactions to their immediate household.”
Newsom and Breed’s hypocrisy on mask mandates is not likely to sit well with California voters. According to a survey administered by Spectrum News and Ipsos between August 26 and September 1 of this year, California residents generally approve of mask mandates. About 80% of respondents approved of wearing masks inside office buildings, schools, sports arenas, grocery and retail stores, and in buses, trains, and the workplace. 78% approved of doing so at bars and restaurants.
Despite these numbers, Newsom defeated his main opponent, Larry Elder, during the California recall election. 64% of voters wanted him to remain in office, while 34% of wished for him to be removed.
Mask mandate hypocrisy is not just limited to the West Coast, however. A photo released of Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sitting maskless with twelve other people in East Lansing also frustrated the public.
Photo obtained by Breitbart News after originally being posted, then deleted on Facebook.
The gathering seen above violates Michigan’s Department of Health Order, mandating that restaurants only seat six people at a table and the tables must be kept six feet apart.
Whitmer apologized for the gathering, saying, “Yesterday, I went with friends to a local restaurant. As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together. Because we were all vaccinated, we didn't stop to think about it. In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize."
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, was also seen maskless, less than a day after her indoor mask mandate for everyone over the age of two went into effect. The mandate did not exempt vaccinated individuals.
She attended a wedding reception, where the Washington Examiner captured a photo of her sitting indoors without wearing a mask. Browser defended herself, saying she “wore a mask indoors in compliance with the mandate.”
The Washington Examiner claims that she was not actively eating or drinking when they took the photo.
Photographed by Tiana Lowe, a commentator at the Washington Examiner
Lastly, former Democratic Boston Mayor Kim Janey was seen at a North End restaurant posing for a picture with owner Arya Trattoria. Janey’s spokeswoman stated that she was eating and put the mask back on after the photo was taken. Less than a day before, Janey signed a citywide mask mandate for indoor public areas. When her hypocrisy was pointed out by a reporter, she replied with “We all have to continue to wear our masks. I wear my mask even outdoors.”
However, she was seen not wearing a mask at an outdoor event in which she was creating art with children and hugging Wally the Green Monster.
She continued to defend herself, saying “In restaurants, when you’re drinking and eating, you can take it off. Certainly indoors, in public spaces, and even outdoors, when possible, when you’re in crowded areas. I think that is the way that we get through the pandemic — that we slow the spread, and that we keep each other safe.”
Residents of Boston generally approve of masking. According to a poll published on September 7, 87% of Boston voters who would probably cast a ballot in the preliminary election agreed with K-12 mask mandates for all children older than five. The same poll also found that 71% of likely voters support employers mandating vaccination for employees and 83% approved of the decision to require city workers to provide proof of vaccination or test weekly.
Overall, a poll released by Axios and Ipsos on August 17 found that 64% of Americans support governments requiring masks in public places. 69% support teachers, students, and administrators to wear masks.
The irony of politicians forcing ordinary people to wear masks, indoors and outdoors, in schools and at work, without having to obey the order themselves strikes Americans as unfair and elitist.
Newsom’s mask mandate violation went viral on social media. People criticized his decision to attend a luxurious restaurant maskless while other businesses in California were struggling to remain open due to social distancing and masking regulations. The vote to have a recall election for Newsom didn’t garner enough signatures until after Newsom was spotted at the French Laundry. While he did defeat the recall election, the fact that there was a recall election for a Democratic governor in a Democratic state suggests that there is general frustration among Californians with the way he has governed the state.
Furthermore, Janey lost the Boston Mayoral race after being spotted violating her mask mandate. She had also required all city employees to either get vaccinated or test regularly for COVID-19. Her policies, which suggest that society should be cautious due to the pandemic, were at odds with her personal decision-making, which may have led to her loss.
As the ones supporting and advocating for the mask mandate, Americans expect local and state leaders to be the first ones to put on a mask. Their judgement remains under scrutiny as they often get caught not complying with their own policies purported to best protect the public health.