Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) held a press conference Thursday pleading for district residents to celebrate the upcoming Fourth of July holiday at their homes, warning that “large gatherings are still a high-risk activity” because of COVID-19.
No one in the press pool asked the mayor about what might have changed regarding crowd risk since she marched in the streets with hundreds of protesters earlier this month, but she did mention that people are welcome to “protest anywhere in the District of Columbia.”
What are the details?
During the introduction of her briefing, Mayor Bowser said, “We want to send a message to our residents to enjoy the Fourth of July, to celebrate according to our guidance, and to do it at home or near their home in small gatherings.”
Bowser noted the White House’s announcement from last week declaring that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will still host the 2020 “Salute to America” celebration on Independence Day, and said it is her hope that the crowd size will be smaller this year than in non-pandemic years.
She urged residents not to attend the White House fanfare, and warned, “large gatherings are still a high-risk activity.” She added, “So if you’re outdoors, that’s still a high-risk activity.”
Bowser showed a graph and explained that although D.C. has “flattened the curve,” the city has not yet eradicated the coronavirus.
When asked about ongoing protests and the tensions between demonstrators and police, Bowser encouraged peaceful assemblies and added, “people can protest anywhere in the District of Columbia.”
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Bowser herself marched with hundreds of protesters in downtown D.C. earlier this month, joining a litany of Democrats who have joined in on George Floyd demonstrations but warned against citizens’ participation in other outdoor activities.
A host of conservatives have spoken out against the hypocrisy on the left and in the media from those who criticized anti-lockdown protesters and Trump rally attendees while ignoring the risk of spreading coronavirus during protests.
WTTG-TV reported June 10 that Mayor Bowser was tested for COVID-19 “several days after she spent time in the streets with hundreds of protesters, often without a mask.”