- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 18, 2021

D.C. Council members are urging Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Department of Health to reverse the decision to drop the indoor mask mandate on Monday.

“We are concerned that this decision would place the District ahead of the science, including continuing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control that still recommends that masking indoors is the safest way to protect everyone from COVID-19 exposure. Even the White House will maintain its mandate,” 10 council members said Wednesday in a letter.

The lawmakers expressed concern about the vulnerability of children over 5 years old, noting that barely two weeks have passed since they have been eligible to get a vaccine. They will not be able to get a second dose until three weeks after their first shot and then won’t be considered fully vaccinated until another two weeks have gone by.

The council members also expressed worries about the upcoming winter months and holiday season, saying that lifting the mask mandate is “not a prudent course of action.”

“It sends a signal that public health concerns are back to normal when they are not,” they said in their letter. 

The Washington Times has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment. During a press briefing Thursday, Miss Bowser said that she would be happy to talk with any of the council members about the new mask policy.

Miss Bowser on Tuesday announced that the city’s indoor mask mandate will end next week. Face coverings will still be required in some city-run facilities such as schools and on public transportation. Private businesses also can require masks.

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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