President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were flouted Washington D.C.'s indoor mask mandate on Saturday night when they were captured on camera walking maskless inside a plush Italian restaurant. Critics took no time to take to social media to blast the first couple calling them "hypocrites."
This was the first time since Joe and Jill Biden dined at a Washington restaurant after moving to the White House. However, they promptly broke the city's mask mandate, which made them a topic of discussion on social media.
Breaking His Own Rules
The couple was caught on camera leaving Fiola Mare, an Italian seafood restaurant popular with the political set in the Georgetown area of the city when they casually walked indoors without wither of them having their face masks.
Biden could be seen carrying his mask in both hands as he left the pricey seafood establishment overlooking the Potomac River, while the first lady seemed not to be carrying her mask at all as she left.
Wearing masks indoors in public places is mandatory in Washington D.C. And it has been in place since July when cases surged as a result of the massive spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. At that time, Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser reinstated an indoor mask mandate.
The Bidens not only flouted the city's mask mandate but also the restaurant's won mask policy. The restaurant's website also specifies its rule regarding the mask policy. "Per CDC guidance and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's executive order, all individuals over age 2 are required to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status," the restaurant states on its website.
"Masks must be always worn while in our restaurants, except while eating and drinking," it further mentions.
Social Media Attacks
Under Bowser's executive order, restaurants which fail to enforce the mask mandate partially or fully too will be penalized. It is not known what stand the mayor will take now or if he will completely ignore the incident. The restaurant is yet to comment on the incident.
Biden has himself frequently donned his own mask, despite being fully-vaccinated, in what some critics have branded political theater. He has said he is determined to differentiate himself from Donald Trump, famed for turning his nose up at the coverings, and not being snapped wearing one until July 2020 - five months after cases began to hit US shores.
That said, social media users didn't waste time in slamming the President and the first lady. Some even called the couple "hypocrites."
"Hypocrites gonna hypocrite, y'all," Clay Travis tweeted.
"Every American deserves an answer from @JoeBiden directly explaining why he thinks is allowed to break rules that he demands others to follow," Benny Johnson wrote on Twitter.
"Joe Biden was spotted walking around a restaurant without a mask last night. Just another reminder that rules implemented by the ruling class only apply to us, not them," Joey Gilbert said.
Biden's violation of D.C.'s mask mandate came as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was also busted without a face covering at Chicago's Wintrust Arena Sunday night.
Going by D.C. rule on flouting mask mandate, a first violation will be punished with a warning from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), and the second will lead to a $1,000 fine. After three or more violations, the business's liquor license will be reviewed by the DC liquor board.