D.C. mayor caught partying maskless 8 hours before new mandate begins

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) was caught partying with celebrities, all of whom were maskless, on Friday night less than 12 hours prior to the start of the district’s new mask mandates. 

“When your [sic] asked to Dj for the Mayor!!! Happy birthday Mayor Bowser,” Jeffrey Mercer wrote on Instagram in a caption accompanying a photo of himself and Bowser. Neither Mercer nor Bowser are wearing masks in the photograph, and Mercer has since made his Instagram account private. Mercer also posted another picture of the party, showing Bowser among a crowd of people, none of whom were wearing masks.

“Was the two days notice on implementing the mask mandate so Mayor Bowser could have her birthday party??? Absolutely classic,” Bradley Engle, a Republican digital strategist, tweeted. Engle’s tweet garnered thousands of likes and retweets within four hours, with many respondents criticizing Bower and some even saying the mayors of their own towns have done the same thing.

“Same thing happened in NOLA,” a Twitter user called ‘Chizad’ wrote. “Our mayor made the announcement yesterday after her Christmas in July event she didn’t want to cancel her reservations for.”

“Same thing happened in Canada over [Christmas] holidays,” Jordy Shapira wrote. “Throughout December, politicians and members of covid science advisory groups went away on holidays. Came back – outrage ensued and our [Prime Minister] cut all flights to Caribbean and issued travel bans with mandatory quarantines.”


“Everyone living and working in DC should demand to know if Mayor Bowser followed data and science to pick the date of her new DC mask mandate or if it was selected to not impose on her mask less birthday party festivities,” Paris Dennard wrote in a tweet.


“Muriel Bowser is absolutely shameless,” Natalie Johnson wrote

“I guess we now know why Bowser waited until Saturday to implement her mask mandate,” Greg Price wrote in a tweet. 

“I just think it’s really nice of covid to agree not to come back to DC until after Mayor Bowser got to take some pics with celebs last night,” Abigail Marone tweeted.

Bowser announced a new mask mandate for vaccinated and unvaccinated people on Thursday night. The mandate came into effect on Saturday at 5 am, less than 8 hours after her birthday party ended. Masks are now required in restaurants, offices, places of worship, and gyms inside the district. Bowser blamed an uptick in Covid cases for the mandate, though CDC data may not support it. 

There have been 4 Covid-related deaths in Washington, D.C. in the last two weeks. There is a 1% test positivity rate. Conversely, there have been 11 homicides in the district in the past two weeks, making the chance of getting murdered in D.C. almost 3 times higher than the chance of dying from Covid. 

Mayor Bowser has not yet commented on the backlash.