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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Ending Vaccine Requirement, Mask Mandate—But Not for School Kids

Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C. will be ending Washington’s mandate for vaccines and will relax Washington’s mask mandate. Although this is welcome news, the details are a bit lacking. The mayor will continue to enforce masking regulations in various settings including schools.

Restaurant customers are required to show their driver’s licence and a valid vaccination card before they can be seated. These requirements will end: Effective February 15, the vaccine mandate has ended and the mask mandate will expire on March 1. These policy changes will benefit restaurants, churches and finally gyms. No masks required while exercising are no longer necessary.

However, masks will be required in schools, child care centers, public transportation, ride-share and public libraries. You can find the full list below.

Both lists are inconsistent and arbitrary. They do not match the scientific evidence. D.C. citizens have little to no incentive to send even one iota goodwill to their elected officials and public health officials.

For example, there is no reason to believe that quiet readers of books at libraries will spread the virus more than those who are singing or exercising hard. COVID-19 spreads far more easily when people make full use of their lungs, mouth, and throats. However, these activities aren’t on the required mask list. Is it reasonable to require masks at Metro stations, but not in grocery stores or Ubers?

Notable is also the fact that this city was established just four days earlier. recommendedBig Board was denied a liquor license and has been suspended indefinitely. According to bureaucrats, Big Board’s “continued operations pose a risk for the community and should not be permitted.” However, Big Board will soon allow all restaurants and bars to follow its lead. The community is at great risk.

Worst of all, the treatment that the city has given schoolchildren. They will all still need to wear their masks inside the classroom. The forcible masking children at this point in the pandemic is unjustifiable. The risk to young people from a negative COVID-19 outcome is low, regardless of vaccination status. People who choose to wear masks should continue to do so. However, students with hearing impairments or difficulty communicating with their classmates and teachers should de-mask as soon as possible.

Think of the logic: The city is saying that adults can go to the grocery store and the gym, and then spend all night at a restaurant or bar—maskless the whole time. However, children must be covered up for at least eight hours every day.

There’s no scientific rationale behind any of this; the sad reality is that students are up against a powerful interest group—teachers unions—which has carved out an extremist position on the question of mandates. Randi Weingarten of American Federation of Teachers stated recently that she would keep the mask mandates intact until there is “no transmission at schools.” She’s at least getting her wish in D.C.