Feb 15, 2022 - COVID

D.C. Council member wants to resurrect vaccine mandate

D.C. vaccine mandate sign
Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Ward 1 Council member Brianne Nadeau has drafted emergency legislation to reinstate D.C.’s proof-of-vaccination requirement for some indoor venues, but the road ahead for it is unclear.

Catch up quick: D.C.’s short-lived vaccine mandate was lifted Tuesday, just a month after going into effect for partial vaccinations and on the same day residents were expected to show proof of full vaccination. D.C. mask mandate will be lifted on March. 1

  • Following Monday’s announcement by Mayor Muriel Bowser, several council members, including Nadeau, voiced their criticism of lifting the mandates.

Go deeper: D.C. to drop indoor mask and vaccine mandate

Driving the news: Nadeau’s legislation is similar to the mayor’s original mandate. It would reinstate the proof-of-vaccination requirement for restaurants, bars, gyms, and movie theaters, among other places, and exempt houses of worship, pharmacies, and grocery stores.

In a proposed resolution, Nadeau wrote that the mayor lifted the mandate without regard for children under the age of 5 who could not get vaccinated, and pointed to testimony by a DC Health epidemiologist last week during a D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control board hearing that cases in D.C. were nowhere near low enough to justify lifting the mandate.

  • When asked about that testimony on Monday, Bowser said that Dr. Anil Mangla did not speak for the department.

Reality check: The council’s next legislative session is in two weeks, but Nadeau tweeted that she plans to ask that chair Phil Mendelson call a special session this week to speed up the process.

What they’re saying: Mendelson, who was critical of the mayor’s Monday rollback of mandates, said Tuesday that Nadeau should poll members to get a sense of whether there is support for reviving the mandate.

  • At-Large council member and mayoral candidate Robert White seized on the backlash to lifting the mandate. In a campaign email sent Monday, he called lifting the mandate premature.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Washington D.C..

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Washington D.C. stories

No stories could be found

Washington D.C.postcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Washington D.C..

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more