Coronavirus Rules Don’t Apply to Lawmakers Who Attended John Lewis Funeral
While grieving Americans across the nation are being forced to hold funerals for their loved ones via Zoom, limit the number of people who can attend, or simply cancel the events altogether, D.C. lawmakers who attended the (non-socially-distanced) funeral of Rep. John Lewis last week can basically do whatever they want. Not only were there few precautions taken at the funeral itself, we learned from Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office that the usual quarantine restrictions will not apply to the congresspeople who attended.
On July 24, the mayor released a new order: “Requirement to Self-Quarantine After Non-Essential Travel During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.” Under this mandate, anyone who travels to high-risk areas must put themselves in quarantine for 14 days while monitoring themselves for any coronavirus symptoms that may emerge during that time. The order defined a “high-risk area” as any location where “the seven (7)-day moving average daily new COVID-19 case rate is ten (10) or more per one hundred thousand (100,000) persons.”
The entire state of Georgia, where Lewis’s funeral was held, easily comports to this description.
But the mayor’s office determined this week that the oh-so-important congresspeople who attended the funeral can just ignore all of that troublesome, inconvenient red tape.
“Government activity is essential, and the Capitol of the United States is exempt from the Mayor’s Order,” explained Bowser’s press secretary on Friday.
Apparently if you are a lawmaker in Washington, D.C., you are somehow magically immune from the virus and unable to pass it to others in the community. After all, what would the country do if our lawmakers had to sit home for two weeks? Gee, we would be deprived of watching Jerrold Nadler embarrass himself in front of Attorney General William Barr! We might not get to witness Adam Schiff’s latest Russian conspiracy speech! Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would have to reserve all of her grandstanding for Instagram Live!
Not only are lawmakers exempt from having to quarantine, they are also free to ignore the city’s mask mandate: “The enforcement provisions of this Order shall not be applied to persons in the judicial or legislative branches of the District government while those persons are on duty; and shall not apply to any employees of the federal government while they are on duty.”
Uh-huh. So, if you’re a Black Lives Matter protester or an official with the federal government, you can feel free to do whatever you want. Otherwise, it’s masks and quarantines for all the rest of you ruffians.