Just minutes after Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday that masks will again be required in all indoor places in the district beginning Saturday, regardless of coronavirus vaccination status, the blowback was swift.
"Things have changed throughout the course of [the pandemic], and we have to adapt too," Bowser said while announcing the new mandate. "I think it won't be a big lift for a lot of folks."
But several critics immediately voiced their displeasure with the announcement online.
I'm going to go spend some hard-earned money at businesses in Arlington and Montgomery County this weekend @MayorBowser, because this is an incredibly stupid thing to do. The CDC average 7-day death rate for D.C. is... zero deaths. https://t.co/PgGOLn0d3d— Kevin Glass (@KevinWGlass) July 29, 2021
DC has literally had TWO coronavirus deaths in the last 2 weeks. Expect nothing less than the hall monitor capital of the world https://t.co/AqyJX9Geic— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) July 29, 2021
Incredible. https://t.co/jXj7yksKEK— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) July 29, 2021
The Washington Post reported Thursday the district's new daily case rate, now about 8 per 100,000, is far lower than what it was during the worst of the pandemic.
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance, suggesting that many Americans wear masks again in areas deemed at high risk of spreading the virus, including among vaccinated individuals.
The CDC has been criticized by some outside public health experts as giving confusing guidance, given that many Americans don't know if they are in an area classified as high risk for transmission of the contagious delta variant.
Some also criticized Bowser for not announcing vaccine requirements for people in the district, opting instead to create a blanket policy for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
Would she lose one vote if she said: ok, we tried masking and vaxx incentives. time for a vaxx mandatehttps://t.co/BUHZpnmKpe— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) July 29, 2021
Rather than taking known free cures to a disruptive and potentially deadly pathogen, people apparently want to have their lives continuously disrupted. Amazing. https://t.co/aEzcBF815V— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) July 29, 2021