SAN FRANCISCO, CA, (LifeSiteNews) — The mayor of San Francisco has drawn sharp criticism for violating her own strict COVID-19 protocols after she was spotted partying without wearing a mask at an indoor nightclub.
San Francisco’s Democrat mayor London Breed was seen enjoying the nightlife at the California city’s Black Cat nightclub on Wednesday, where she joined Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza along with singer Raphael Saadiq and fellow bandmates from R&B group “Tony! Toni! Toné!” in a maskless soiree.
San Francisco Mayor @LondonBreed partied maskless indoors with Black Lives Matter activists.
— Matthew Foldi (@MatthewFoldi) September 17, 2021
Breed defended her decision to leave her table, dance, and pose maskless with members of the band, telling reporters Friday, “I don’t know about you, but if you know who they [“Tony! Toni! Toné!”] are, I don’t care where you’re sitting, you’re gonna get up and start dancing.”
The starstruck mayor said she “was feeling the spirit” and “wasn’t thinking about a mask.”
— Mariecar Mendoza (@SFMarMendoza) September 16, 2021
The “City by the Bay” has some of the nation’s strictest COVID-19 protocols, with residents and visitors now required to show proof of full vaccination to enter most indoor public establishments.
Mayor Breed reimposed an indoor mask mandate in the city in August in response to surging case numbers attributed to the Delta variant.
According to San Francisco’s health orders, all people, including toddlers aged two and up, regardless of vaccination status, are required “to wear a well-fitted mask in indoor public spaces” unless actively eating or drinking.
When interviewed by ABC7 reporter Kate Larsen, Breed contended that she was eating and drinking when she was spotted maskless away from her table, arguing, “So when you go to a restaurant, do you sip and put your mask on, sip and put your mask on?”
Replacing a mask frequently while eating has been explicitly encouraged and is sometimes required.
Last year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office sent out a tweet urging Californians to replace their face mask between bites and sips. For air travelers, doing so is currently required by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration).
In a Monday tweet, author and journalist Glenn Greenwald shared the California governor’s advice to mask up between bites in response to Mayor Breed’s actions and comments, expressing “anger” at the mayor’s “authoritarian” attitude in shirking the mandates she has imposed upon others.
“I can’t fathom let alone express in words how authoritarian a mindset someone must be plagued with to believe that it’s fine for political, cultural and financial elites to exempt themselves from the rules they demand everyone else obey,” Greenwald wrote.
“Anger at that is practically instinctive.”
I can’t fathom let alone express in words how authoritarian a mindset someone must be plagued with to believe that it’s fine for political, cultural and financial elites to exempt themselves from the rules they demand everyone else obey.
Anger at that is practically instinctive.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 20, 2021
Breed’s reinstated health order, effective August 2, states that patrons may only take off their “Well-Fitted Mask while actively eating or drinking,” and that “[p]eople are urged to be seated at a table or positioned at a stationary counter or place while eating or drinking.”
In photos that were shared on Twitter, Breed is seen away from her table, singing and dancing in the crowded venue. None of the other guests appear to be wearing masks.
“MASK MANDATORY in San Francisco, yet mayor @LondonBreed ignores the science,” wrote political commentator and former mayoral candidate Ritchie Greenberg.
“The hypocrisy can’t go unpunished, not this time.”
— Richie Greenberg (@richieSF2016) September 17, 2021
Defending her decision to buck her own mandate, Breed told reporters it was “just not realistic” to put her mask back on,” and argued the appearance of the original bandmates of “Tony! Toni! Toné!” was a “monumental” occurrence.
The mayor went on to bemoan the fact that the band’s appearance was being ignored while focus was instead placed on the fact that she failed to abide by the same mandates she has imposed upon the residents of her city.
Breed said the message she wants to send to San Francisco residents is: “Support our nightlife venues. Support our restaurants. Go out and enjoy yourself. Make sure you are vaccinated because of the requirements. But don’t feel as though you have to be micromanaged about mask-wearing.”
Saying “we know what we need to do to try and protect ourselves,” Breed argued “we don’t need the ‘fun police’ to come in and try and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing.”
San Francisco Mayor @LondonBreed defends violating her indoor mask mandate while partying at a club:
“I was feeling the spirit and I wasn’t thinking about a mask.”pic.twitter.com/lFTFCgzihZ
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 20, 2021
As observed by the Daily Wire, Breed’s justification comes after she told residents of the city in July, just before reimposing the citywide mask mandate, “I know people are tired of being told what to do, but the fact is this is where [we] are.”
Breed’s current health orders force young children to wear masks throughout entire school days and require patrons of most indoor public venues to show proof of vaccination to gain entry.
People who live in or visit the city must also mask up on “trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares, maritime transportation, street cars, cable cars, and school buses.”
The controversy sparked by the mayor’s actions came just ahead of images from the Emmys showing award-winning celebrities partying maskless despite widespread mask mandates.
The celebrities were slammed by critics who pointed out that the rules appear to differ for the rich and powerful rather than ordinary citizens.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 20, 2021
Fox News’ Janice Dean commented, “I think after seeing all the celebs without masks or social distancing in a packed tent at @TheEmmys we should pretty much move on with our lives.”
I think after seeing all the celebs without masks or social distancing in a packed tent at @TheEmmys we should pretty much move on with our lives.
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) September 20, 2021
Likewise, political commentator Clay Travis asked, “Why did none of the celebrities at the Emmys have to wear masks indoors, but all kids ages two and older have to wear them in preschool and school in Los Angeles?”