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EXCLUSIVE: New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell was pictured partying without a mask at an indoor Mardi Gras event on Friday night, despite reinstating the city’s COVID-19 mask mandate for schools and indoor public spaces just a few weeks ago.
About 100 short videos taken at the Mayor’s Mardi Gras ball at Gallier Hall were posted online before being deleted following inquiries from Fox News on Monday. The videos, taken by a 360-degree photo booth, showed Cantrell singing maskless karaoke with two other women, also maskless.
PRO-MASK DEMOCRATS KEEP GETTING Caught WITHOUT A MASK
Not a single person was wearing a protective mask in the videos, which were taken down less than an hour after Fox News asked Cantrell for comment.
The event comes after Cantrell reinstated the city’s indoor mask mandate for all indoor public places, including schools, which is still in effect until Mardi Gras Day on March 1.
In a statement to Fox News, Cantrell spokesman Beau Tidwell admitted that there was no “perfect adoption of the guidelines in all cases” over the weekend.
“The mask guidelines and vaccination requirement will remain in effect until Mardi Gras,” he said. “That hasn’t changed and it won’t. Under current guidelines, masks can be removed indoors while eating and drinking. Although we haven’t seen perfect adoption of the guidelines across all cases over the weekend, we were generally encouraged by the level of masking and vigilance we saw on the parade route and at balls.”
The Louisiana Supreme Court last week denied requests for a temporary restraining order and an expedited hearing on a lawsuit challenging Cantrell’s mask mandate and the vaccine mandate, which requires people over the age of 5 to present proof of vaccination in order to enter most businesses.
More than 100 plaintiffs have sued the mayor, the New Orleans Department of Health and the head of that agency, Dr. Jennifer Avegno, claiming the warrants violate their constitutional rights.
“We are happy to see the people of New Orleans finally able to get back to normal and enjoy Mardi Gras season,” said Laura Cannizzaro Rodrigue, partner at New Orleans-based firm Rodrigue & Arcuri, in a statement to Fox News. “This is exactly what we have been advocating. We are furious to see our so-called city leaders violate their own mask mandate throughout carnival season while demanding that ordinary citizens and children remain masked. “Hypocrisy and privilege will no longer be tolerated. The silence of our legislature is deafening. We see you and we come for you.”
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The lawsuit filed by Rodrigue & Arcuri and attorney Jimmy Faircloth of Faircloth, Melton, Sobel & Bash LLC, on behalf of more than 100 plaintiffs — and counting — accuses officials of causing “social, economic and cultural harm” by “authoritarian actions under the pretext of an endless emergency.”
Cantrell spokesman Beau Tidwell did not comment on the lawsuit, but he said on Feb. 1 that “the guidelines we have in place are saving lives.”
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.