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Mayor Muriel Bowser got some praise for her picks to chair her ReOpen DC Advisory Group, former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff and former United Nations ambassador Susan Rice. “One cool thing about D.C. is that when you’re looking for co-chairs for your municipal-government task force you can get these people,” tweeted one resident. They, along with other chairpersons and sector committees, are expected to produce an initial report outlining how and when D.C. can safely reopen the week of May 11. They’ll also be hosting a community town hall April 29.

But are there too many national figures as opposed to local? “We are dealing with a local, a national and a global pandemic,” Bowser said during an April 27 press conference when asked. “We have called on a great mix of people that embody all of those needs and have all of those experiences.”

Are there enough doctors in the group? At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman asked that very question on Monday during a council-executive meeting. “This is all public-health driven,” responded DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt. She says DC Health employees will be assigned to each committee and Johns Hopkins University will be advising the overall group. Nesbitt also name-dropped Nicole Lurie, who served as the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services under the Obama administration. 

But a closer look at some of the committees is leaving some heated. The Restaurants and Food Committee only has two restaurateurs. The Real Estate and Construction Committee is packed with developers. There’s also potential for conflict of interests

“Mayor Bowser’s Reopen DC Advisory Committee is really re-sellout DC – again! Lack of constituencies hardest hit by pandemic illustrates this not about the people of DC,” tweeted Rev. Graylan Hagler of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Fort Totten. 

The members list is definitely a who’s who of Washington, D.C. Bowser’s brother, Marvin Bowser, is on the Faith, Arts, Culture, Hotels, Entertainment and Sports Committee, for example. These members were personally selected by Bowser, a spokesperson told City Paper’s Laura Hayes

It’s unclear how fixed these committees are. Washington Teachers’ Union President Elizabeth Daviswas added to the Education and Childcare committee within 24-hours of the launch after receiving pushback. The union says a teacher and principal will also be added because the committee is noticeably without any. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, byAmanda Michelle Gomez:

  • There is no press conference today because the mayor is doing appearances on broadcast media. 

  • D.C. reported five additional COVID-19 deaths and 102 new positive cases on Tuesday. As of April 27, 190 residents have died due to COVID-19 and 3,994 have tested positive. Approximately 18,885 have been tested overall. [EOM

  • Antibody testing suggests that the coronavirus was in D.C. earlier than March 7, when officials reported the city’s first COVID-19 case. [Post]

  • Bowser sets the record straight on CNN that D.C. has not seen a peak in infections after President Trump talked about the nation’s capital “getting better.” [Politico]

  • D.C. will expand testing to include critical infrastructure workers like grocery store employees with a history of exposure. The union representing Safeway and Giant workers has been requesting this for some time. [Twitter, WCP

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Don’t forget to tell us what you care about this election cycle. [WCP]

  • Ron Motenand Ralph Anwan “Big G” Glover organized a socially distanced sleep-out outside the DC Jail tonight. [Post]

  • New polls in Wards 2 and 4. [Twitter]

  • …the former mayor said, according to the current mayor’s office. [Twitter]

  • “Are ANCs given great weight?” [ODCA]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com) 

  •  Bowsertaps only two restaurateurs to serve on ReOpen DC’s committee on restaurants and food retailers. Other members are artists, builders, and city workers. [WCP]

  • The easiest foods to try growing at home. [Post]

  • After a delay, the James Beard Award finalists will be announced on May 4. [Eater]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • As residents stay home, wildlife agencies are getting more calls about local animals. [Post]

  • What’s the National Mall like without tourists? [DCist
  • D.C. native Bill Nye the Science Guy answers kids’ science questions. [Kojo Nnamdi Show]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Even City Paper contributor Matt Terl is feeling optimistic about this year’s draft class for the local NFL team. “It shouldn’t be this exciting just to have a football team run rationally, but here we are,” he writes. [WCP]

  • ICYMI: Do runners need to wear face masks? Infectious disease medical experts weigh in on the contentious and controversial topic. [WCP]

  • Track star Noah Lyles, a T.C. Williams High School alum and a medal favorite at the postponed Tokyo Olympics, knows he is vulnerable to coronavirus, having suffered from asthma since childhood. [Post]

CITY LIGHTS, byEmma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

We’re bringing you the best things to watch, read, make, and do from the comfort of your home while social distancing.

  • Stream the documentary Other Music, about the legendary New York City record store, and choose a local venue to support with your purchase—it’s available to April 30.

  • Use all your newfound downtime to figure out who, exactly, the D.C. surgeon who spent $1,500 on lingerie is, or just take a peek at how your neighbors spend their money.

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