President Biden Doesn't Follow D.C.'s Absurd Mask Rules for Restaurants

End the mask mandates now.


Over the weekend, President Joe Biden had dinner with First Lady Jill Biden at Fiola Mare, a swanky restaurant in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Video footage captured the couple leaving the premises without their masks.

Note that this is a violation of the city's mask mandate, which requires restaurant customers to wear masks while walking from the door to the table. Masks can only be removed when it's time to sit down and actively eat or drink. Dining establishments that fail to enforce these rules can face a $1,000 fine, and thus workers can be fairly militant about it. I have been asked to put on a mask while walking to my table, or waiting in line for food, at a dozen different places—from fancy restaurants to grab-and-go sandwich shops.

But Democratic political figures whose mask mandates remain in effect in many major cities routinely fail to follow their own rules. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has flouted her mask mandate at parties, weddings, and public events, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed clearly thinks it's crazy to enforce masks to the degree required by her own mandate. Most recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was caught maskless in a photo at a Women's National Basketball Association game; according to a witness who was at the game with her, the mayor only removed her mask for the photo. This is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, but the mask mandate does not include reasonable exceptions.

And that's what should really irritate people about Biden failing to mask up while making a quick exit. He isn't worried about his health during those few seconds; he probably knows that it's pointless to require masking under some circumstances while groups of unmasked people are eating, drinking, and talking for hours. The government's strict mask policies are so stupid that everyone who can get away with ignoring them already does so, yet they remain in place. Not for safety, or because of the science, but because our elected leaders can't be bothered to tweak the rules.