San Francisco Mayor London Breed has unintentionally made the case against the indoor mask mandate she imposed on the city's residents, all while attempting to justify her own defiance of the rules she had imposed.
"I think it's sad that this is even a story," the San Francisco Democrat told reporters Friday after news emerged that she had partied maskless at a jazz club. "There was something that was really monumental that occurred, and that is Tony! Toni! Toné!—the original members, the brothers…who have not performed in public for at least over 20 years."
"The fact that that is getting lost here is very unfortunate," continued Breed, whose executive order states that "masks may be removed while actively eating or drinking at events other than indoor dining, such as live performances and movies." When another reporter brought up that the mayor had been dancing maskless, not actively eating or drinking, the excuse that followed was a bit strange: "I was feeling the spirit. I wasn't thinking about a mask; I was thinking about having a good time."
Everything @LondonBreed is saying is perfectly correct & reasonable, the only issue is that it underscores how unrealistic and fairly pointless the indoor mask mandate is for vaccinated patrons––the mandate that SHE imposed, that she has the power to end. https://t.co/W5GsihBSk9
— Liz Wolfe (@lizzywol) September 20, 2021
Breed mentioned a few times that everyone in the venue was vaccinated, in accordance with current city law. She failed to note that venues filled exclusively with vaccinated people are not exempt from her indoor mask mandate.
"No, I'm not gonna sip and put my mask on, sip and put my mask on, sip and put my mask on, eat and put my mask on," continued Breed. "While I'm eating and drinking, yes, I'm gonna keep my mask off." When she goes to restaurants, Breed said, "same thing, I'm leaving my mask down while I'm enjoying my food, I'm not putting it on, taking it off…you all know that's not realistic….We don't need the fun police to come in and try to micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn't be doing. We know what we need to do to protect ourselves."
She's right: It's not realistic. Nor, I suppose, was it realistic to expect Breed to adhere to her own strict COVID rules. Earlier in the pandemic, the night after California Gov. Gavin Newsom was caught dining at the French Laundry, Breed had her own scandal when reporters realized that she too had dined at the Michelin-starred restaurant to celebrate the 60th birthday of socialite Gorretti Lo Lui. As politicians like Newsom and Breed warned their constituents to avoid large gatherings to stave off California's dire November 2020 COVID surge, both of them were caught doing the opposite in quick succession.
Now that she's been caught red-handed, Breed has succinctly communicated that the indoor mask mandate isn't necessary for a venue filled exclusively with vaccinated people to operate safely. The risk of breakthrough infection is small—and even for those unlucky vaccinated few who do come down with COVID, they can rest (or gallivant) much easier knowing their chances of dying from it are infinitesimally small. Breed has full power to end the mandate now that she has realized how silly it is in practice and now that she has rightfully rebuked the concept of sending fun police out to micromanage how adults enjoy themselves.
But given the hallowed traditions of pandemic-era politicians, don't be surprised if Breed continues to expect her constituents to adhere even to the pettiest of rules while carving out exceptions for whenever she's personally "feeling the spirit."
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