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Tipsheet

New Orleans Mayor Caught Partying Maskless After Reinstating Mask Mandate

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File

New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell was seen partying at an indoor ball just weeks after reinstating the indoor mask mandate in the city,  making her the just latest Democrat to ignore COVID-19 protocols.

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Videos from the mayor's Mardi Gras Ball at Gallier Hall on Friday were shared online showing Cantrell singing karaoke maskless with two other women who also were not wearing masks. None of the event's attendees were seen wearing masking in the videos, which were later taken down. But NOLA.com reported that some people did wear masks some of the time throughout the ball.

Patrons were required to show proof of vaccination to enter the venue.

Cantrell's maskless event comes after she reinstated the city's indoor mask mandate last month due to the rise in coronavirus cases caused by the omicron variant. The mandate for all indoor public settings will remain in effect through Mardi Gras Day on March 1. Masks may only be removed if an individual is actively eating or drinking.

The mayor's spokesperson Beau Tidwell told WDSU that Cantrell "removed her mask at certain instances to eat and to drink and to take photos" and that "We do need to do a better job at modeling the expected behavior, and we're going to do that going forward."

And in a statement to NOLA.com, Tidwell said, "While we did not see perfect adoption of the guidelines in every instance over the weekend, we were encouraged overall by the level of masking and vigilance we saw on the parade route and at ball events."

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Last week, the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected requests for a temporary restraining order and an expedited hearing on a lawsuit challenging the city's mask and vaccine mandates. New Orleans' vaccine mandate requires everyone 5 years of age and older to show proof of vaccination before entering most establishments.

More than 100 plaintiffs have sued Cantrell, the New Orleans Health Department and the health department's director, Jennifer Avegno. The defendants are accused of violating the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs.

"Plaintiffs stand on behalf of all persons who demand respect for the rule of law, individual autonomy, parental authority, and those who cherish the City of New Orleans and are saddened by the social, economic and cultural harm caused by the Defendants' authoritarian actions under the pretext of an emergency without end," the lawsuit reads.

Cantrell is just the latest Democratic politician to violate local indoor mask mandates.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot and Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser have all, in recent months, been seen maskless in areas where their constituents are required to wear face coverings.

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