Lawmakers who attended the funeral of John Lewis in Atlanta last week are exempt from adhering strict coronavirus quarantine guidelines upon returning to the nation’s capital city.
What are the details?
On July 24, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, issued a proclamation that stated:
All residents and persons traveling to or from “high-risk areas” within the prior fourteen (14) days for non-essential travel must self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days following their return or arrival to the District.
According to Roll Call, 50 members of Congress attended Lewis funeral, including:
- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
- Maryland House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)
- House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)
- Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
- Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
Despite having traveled to Georgia, which Bowser’s office has classified as a “high-risk area,” people in power do not have to self-quarantine upon reentry into the nation’s capital, Bowser’s office told JustTheNews.
Why do lawmakers get a pass?
Bowser Press Secretary Susana Castillo told JustTheNews that lawmakers would be exempt from the mayor’s order, which applies to everyone else, because the mayor classified Lewis’ funeral as “government activity.”
“Government activity is essential, and the Capitol of the United States is exempt from the Mayor’s Order,” Castillo said.
Shockingly, the press secretary admitted that people who attend funerals in “high-risk areas” for people who were not government officials would be forced to self-quarantine for 14 days.
According to JustTheNews, the funeral exemption was not the first time that lawmakers received a pass on adhering to COVID-related restrictions.
Earlier in July, Bowser declared that D.C. residents must wear masks while in public indoor spaces, as well as outdoors when likely to be around other people for “more than a fleeting time.”
Yet exempt from that order were “persons in the judicial or legislative branches of the District government while those persons are on duty,” as well as “any employees of the federal government while they are on duty.”
Pelosi, however, has since mandated that House members wear a face covering when inside the House after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) contracted COVID-19.