SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The mayor of San Francisco was spotted dancing and singing to live music without a mask at an indoor nightclub, despite a strict order from his public health department that requires the wearing of masks in indoor establishments unless someone is actively eating or drinking.
The Mayor of London Breed, a Democrat, has promoted restrictive measures to curb the coronavirus, frustrating business owners who have had to shut down or limit customers.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the mayor was at Black Cat nightclub on Wednesday for an impromptu late-night performance by two of the original three members of famous R&B group Tony! Toni! Your!
“The fact that we haven’t been able to enjoy live music in this way since the start of this pandemic has made it even more special and extraordinary,” she told The Chronicle after the performance.
His office did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request on Friday to explain the mayor’s actions.
San Francisco also requires full proof of vaccination for customers in indoor locations, including restaurants, bars, gyms, and other businesses.
Breed told The Chronicle that she often tests for COVID-19 and is reassured that the underground club is safe because the Black Cat people must show proof of vaccination to enter.
Still, the August health ordinance for San Francisco and other Bay Area counties requires people to wear “a tight-fitting mask indoors in public places,” regardless of immunization status. The delta variant is so contagious that even people who have been vaccinated have been able to catch the virus and pass it on to others.
“Indoor environments, whether public or private, present a higher risk of transmission of COVID-19, especially when you are with people with whom you do not live,” said the health order of August 2.
San Francisco and neighboring counties were the first to issue a stay-at-home order in March 2020, even before California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered people across the state to stay indoors except for essential jobs and errands. The region has some of the highest vaccination rates and lowest infection rates in California and the United States
Danielle Rabkin, owner of CrossFit Golden Gate gym and mayor’s policy critic, told NBC Bay Area affiliate KNTV-TV that Breed has always said people need to do their part because of the continued threat posed by the coronavirus.
“San Francisco’s rules have been very restrictive, and I don’t see her playing her part in this photo,” Rabkin said.
Even runners in this weekend’s San Francisco Marathon will be required to wear masks in areas of the course that cross National Park Service territory. The federal agency requires masks indoors and in crowded outdoor spaces.
Last year, Breed was also accused of hypocrisy when she attended a group dinner at the chic French Laundry restaurant in Napa despite strong recommendations from state and public health officials at the time for avoid gatherings with people outside the household.