Credit: Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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In this week’s example of the bullshit D.C. residents must contend with due to their lack of statehood: Six Republican goons introduced a bill that would nix D.C.’s requirement that students 12 and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to attend school. The bill would also prohibit D.C. from spending funds to enforce the mandate.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz introduced the bill along with senators James Lankford of Oklahoma, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, and Roger Mitchell of Kansas. Cruz has criticized the law as a “racist policy,” saying it will disproportionately impact students of color, who have lower vaccination rates. He has unsuccessfully attempted to meddle in D.C.’s vaccine policies several times in the past, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton notes in her response to the bill.

“Senator Cruz, like many other Republicans who profess to support local control of local affairs, tries to use the federal government’s undemocratic power over D.C. to dictate local D.C. policy,” Norton says in a statement. “D.C.’s duly elected local government adopted the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students, and Senator Cruz does not have the right to interfere in this policy decision.”

The D.C. Council passed the vaccine mandate, among the strictest such policies in the country, for students in 2021 and it went into effect in 2022. Mayor Muriel Bowser has extended the deadline to comply with the requirement until January 2023. Yet Congress has the authority to repeal D.C. laws and enact legislation that impacts residents who did not elect them.

WHO is to blame

The Lancet COVID-19 Commission released a report this week blaming the World Health Organization and the U.S. and other governments for their response to the coronavirus, calling it a “massive global failure—a failure of rationality, transparency, norms of public health practice, operational coordination, and international solidarity.” The panel of global experts cited President Donald Trump’s “highly irresponsible statements” and rejection of scientific evidence in the early months of the pandemic as contributing to the failures.

One (More) Shot

Another round of COVID-19 booster shots became widely available in D.C. last week. The new round of shots, known as bivalent because they target omicron, BA.4, and BA.5 variants, as well as the original strain, are available at pharmacies, walk-up clinics, and COVID centers throughout the District. If you’re seeking a booster from a specific manufacturer, check with the pharmacy before you head out—some locations are reportedly running out of Moderna boosters but still have Pfizer’s version in stock. You might as well get the flu shot while you’re at it. 

Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • To see today’s COVID-19 data, visit our coronavirus tracker.
  • Giovanni Love was one of seven people who died while incarcerated in the DC Jail this year. That number was previously undisclosed by the D.C. Department of Corrections. [DCist]
  • A court-appointed receiver said Casa Ruby should be shut down. The LGBTQ-focused nonprofit has been mired in scandal surrounding its founder and former director Ruby Corado since local outlets have reported on the millions of dollars in unpaid bills to landlords and employees. The receiver found $2 million in outstanding liabilities. [Post, Blade]
  • D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo was denied parole in Virginia. Malvo was 17 in 2002 when he and John Allen Muhammad went on a three-week shooting spree throughout the DMV area, killing 10 people and injuring three others. The parole board said Malvo is still a risk to the community and release after 20 years would “diminish [the] seriousness” of his crime. [AP]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Legislation to make Metro free for D.C. residents, enact a series of police reforms, and change school budgeting practices are among the items on the agenda for the D.C. Council as it returns from summer recess. With the two-year legislative session ending, anything that doesn’t pass before the end of the year will go back to the drawing board. [DCist]
  • Migrants say people in Arizona and Texas lied to them about their trips to D.C., with some claiming they’d be helped on to other destinations when they arrived. Could that lead to legal action against those states from Attorney General Karl Racine? [WUSA]
  • Local and federal officials alike have made homeless encampment clean-ups and clearings a priority this year. But people living at the encampments say these clean-ups rarely improve conditions, and even less seldomly lead to anyone finding stable housing. [Street Sense]

By Alex Koma (tips? akoma@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • If D.C.’s good at one thing, it’s happy hour. Here are 10 new spots where you can nab a discounted drink and some snacks to accompany it. [DCist]
  • Little Serow, chef Johnny Monis’ subterranean Thai spot in Dupont Circle, is officially in hibernation. [Washingtonian]
  • A meal at Il Piatto, now open in a massive space at 16th and I streets NW, isn’t particularly exciting, but the pasta still tastes good, Tom Sietsema says. [Post]
  • If you need a place to watch Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral that’s not your home, consider the Queen Vic on H Street NE. Doors open at 5:30 a.m. Monday and Pimm’s Cups will be served starting at 6 a.m. [Washingtonian]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Credit: ShervinLainez

Phoenix, Photos, and Where Diversity and Design Meet: Best Bets for Sept. 15–21

This week, French band Phoenix plays the Anthem and Anacostia Arts Center celebrates Hispanic Heritage […]

  • “This is for Southside baby.” Check out the winners from the 37th annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. [Informer]
  • H Street isn’t the only neighborhood fest happening this weekend—Sunday marks the annual return of the Celebrate Petworth Festival! [Petworth News]

By Sarah Marloff (tips? smarloff@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Thanks to his two touchdowns—including a game-winner—in Sunday’s game, Commanders wide receiver Jahan Dotson was named NFL Rookie of the Week. [WTOP]
  • After a grizzly surgery to treat his thoracic outlet syndrome, Nats pitcher Stephen Strasburg is not sure he’ll ever throw a baseball again. [Post
  • Georgetown Prep assistant hockey coach Duante Abercrombie, who came up through the Fort Dupont hockey program, is heading to the NHL, joining the Toronto Maple Leafs as a coaching development associate. [Russian Machine Never Breaks]

By City Paper staff (tips? editor@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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