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DC mayor disregarded own COVID restrictions to attend Biden victory speech, defends ‘essential travel’

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Despite Delaware being on District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser’s list of high-risk states, the mayor and her staff attended President-elect Joe Biden’s victory speech in Delaware Saturday, reportedly defending the trip as “essential travel.”

Bowser’s justification for her travel was first reported by Mark Segraves of WRC, the NBC-owned station in Washington D.C., who quoted one of her staff members as saying the trip was “essential travel” and “excepted under Mayor’s order.”

Segraves quoted Bowser’s Chief of Staff John J. Falicchio who said he, the mayor, and her senior advisers met with Symone Sanders, a campaign adviser for Biden. 

Delaware was among the states deemed “high-risk” in a list released by Mayor Bowser’s office just last week.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, right, standing next to Metropolitan Police Department chief Peter Newsham, left, speaks during a news conference in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. 

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, right, standing next to Metropolitan Police Department chief Peter Newsham, left, speaks during a news conference in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. 
(AP)

The guidelines state that “anyone coming into Washington, DC from a high-risk state (within the prior 14 days) who was traveling for non-essential activities will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in the district.”

It further states that “individuals traveling from high-risk states after essential travel or arriving in the District for essential travel are required to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days and, if they show signs or experience symptoms of COVID-19, they are to self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing.”

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It wasn’t immediately clear if Mayor Bowser or the staff members who accompanied her to Biden’s victory speech in Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday were abiding by their own quarantine rules. Her office has not responded to Fox News’ request for comment.

The mayor has also been mum on the thousands of Americans who celebrated in the streets over the weekend following Biden’s presidential victory. Countless images have emerged of participants packed should-to-shoulder in close quarters. Many – though not all – appeared to be wearing masks, but very few were abiding by social distancing as recommended for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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On Sunday, Mayor Bowser encouraged those who voted in the 2020 presidential election to get tested for COVID-19, but did not recommend abiding by social distancing rules to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.  

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