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Washington, D.C., Councilwoman Brianne Nadeau Thursday withdrew her legislation aimed at reinstating the city’s indoor vaccine mandate, and criticized Mayor Muriel Bowser for not following “the science” in rescinding her order in the first place.
“Earlier this week the Council, and the public, were blindsided by the Mayor’s decision to rescind her order requiring proof of vaccination in certain establishments and facilities,” Nadeau said in a statement. “In response, I heard from parents, workers, residents who are immunocompromised, and many others who simply believe it is too soon to make this change.”
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She added: “Unfortunately, although I do believe we might have garnered the support of a majority of the Council on this legislation, we did not have a path to the nine votes needed to pass an emergency measure.”
Bowser announced Monday that the city would lift its mask mandate in places like bars, restaurants and schools effective next month. She also said she would revoke the requirement that establishments like bars verify vaccine status, effective Tuesday.
Notably, however, Bowser left in place the order that schoolchildren wear masks all day. She said because children under 5 years old are not yet approved to get the coronavirus vaccine, “I don’t think that we’re going to have a decision about schools sometime soon.”
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The announcement triggered backlash from both the left and right. Republicans attacked Bowser for leaving the mandate for children in place even as research continues to emerge showing masking is harmful to their development. Democrats attacked Bowser for lifting any of the city’s mandates at all.
“I still believe that reinstating the proof of vaccination requirement for certain establishments and facilities is the best way to protect public health and safety,” Nadeau said in her Thursday statement. “I believe that it is the best way to protect our immunocompromised neighbors, children under five, and even the ninety-three percent of District residents who have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
“I implore the Mayor to do the right thing. I implore her to stand up for workers, for young people, for sick people, and for all those whose voices have been drowned out in this conversation by those of lobbyists,” Nadeau continued.
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The district is one of several liberal jurisdictions that are removing coronavirus-related restrictions as cases decline from their peak during the omicron wave. The moves also come as discontent festers among Americans who want to get back to their lives and the midterms near.
“Democrats’ plan to fight COVID is working – cases are down & vaccines are widely available. Now, it’s time to give people their lives back,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., tweeted last week. “With science as our guide, we’re ready to start getting back to normal.”
Fox News’ Ashley Cozzolino contributed to this report.