City Paper is not for tourists
Mayor Muriel Bowser got a lot of heat for her day trip to Delaware on Saturday to attend President-elect Joe Biden’s victory speech. “Not essential travel….come on,” tweeted journalist Yashar Ali to his 699.1K followers.
Many reacting to a photo of Bowser and her senior staff in Delaware, tweeted by NBC 4 reporter Mark Segraves, accused the mayor of hypocrisy. The mayor had just spent the past few weeks asking residents to limit their travel this holiday season. She’d also just updated her travel advisory, as COVID-19 cases across the country continue to climb.
But Bowser did not flinch. Instead, she defended her trip to Delaware, a state averaging 241 cases per day over the past week.
“Was it essential?” asked ABC7 reporter Sam Ford during a Tuesday press conference. “Absolutely,” Bowser immediately responded.
“I do a lot of things to advance the interests of the District of Columbia, and some of them are formal and some of them are informal, but all of them are necessary,” she continued.
Until Monday, anyone traveling from Delaware (and other states where transmission is high) would have to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in D.C. You don’t have to quarantine but do have to self-monitor if the travel was for essential purposes. The new travel advisory no longer requires travellers to quarantine but does require them to get tested. People should quarantine until they get a negative result, except if the travel is essential.
After her Delaware trip, Bowser appeared at press conferences with government officials and reporters both on Monday and Tuesday. A spokeswoman tells the Post Bowser will get tested this week.
Why is the trip so essential? “The new president is our neighbor and I will be his mayor while he is here,” Bowser argues. “So building relationships with the new team is going to be important for all of us.”
Relatedly, four District government employees were tapped to be on the Biden transition team: Lauren Dugas Glover, with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, will work with entities like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Smithsonian Institution; David Mayorga, with the Office of the Attorney General, will work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; District Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian will work with the U.S. Department of Transportation; and Gianelle Rivera, a senior advisor to Bowser, will work with the General Services Administration.
According to CNN, the transition team will work with career officials inside these federal agencies to prepare for a Biden administration take over. Though, Donald Trump’s coup attempt might complicate the transition.
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