San Francisco Mayor London Breed remained steadfastly defiant about her behavior Friday after she was photographed at a city jazz club dancing and singing without a mask on earlier this week despite a city mandate.
"While I'm eating and drinking I'm going to keep my mask off," Breed, a Democrat, told reporters while calling the story a "distraction," according to FOX 2 of the Bay Area. "And yes, in the time while we're drinking like everyone else there, we were all having a good time and again all vaccinated."
The mayor insisted the focus of media attention should be on live music returning to San Francisco and said that putting a mask on in between eating and drinking isn’t "realistic."
"The fact that this is even a story is sad," she said.
But Breed’s own city ordinance, one of the strictest in the country, requires masks indoors, vaccinated or not, unless the person is actively eating or drinking.
"My drink was sitting at the table. I got up and started dancing because I was feeling the spirit and I wasn't thinking about a mask," Breed explained. "I was thinking about having a good time and in the process I was following the health orders."
"I wasn't thinking about a mask. I was thinking about having a good time and in the process I was following the health orders."— London Breed, mayor of San Francisco
San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks at a rally in the city, March 13, 2021. (Associated Press)
Breed added, she and fellow club-goers "don’t need the fun police to come in and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing."
"The fact that this story became about me and less about the artists and nightlife, which I will continue to enjoy in San Francisco, is very unfortunate," she told reporters.
Breed announced the need for the new mask mandate in August as the delta variant continued to spread, according to FOX 2.
"Our economy and our livelihood, and our kids going back to school, and everything in between depends on it," she said at the time.Smiling and partying
Photos and video of the event showed almost no one in the club wearing a mask.
The Black Cat Nightclub's Instagram page had posted, and then deleted, a photo showing Breed smiling and partying with friends maskless on Wednesday evening, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. She was accompanied by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza and singer Raphael Saadiq.
A Chronicle reporter also tweeted video of Breed singing and dancing.
Breed previously told the Chronicle that she tests for COVID-19 often, and "at the end of the day, everyone who comes in here has to show proof of vaccination. That gives me a lot of reassurance."
"I’ve been very careful, not just because I want to set an example but because I don’t want to get COVID. I also want to make sure that I’m not someone transmitting COVID to other people," she said. "This entire pandemic has been focused on keeping people safe."Not ‘playing her part’
But her actions still frustrated San Franciscans, including some Democrats.
"She's been very clear that everybody needs to do their part, we're not out of the woods. San Francisco's rules have been very restrictive, and I don't see her playing her part in that photo," said Danielle Rabkin, Crossfit Golden Gate Gym owner, according to KNTV-TV.
"I am a registered Democrat and I voted for her," a Twitter user wrote, according to KPIX-TV in San Francisco. "I love you Madame Mayor, but its all over the news. …You’ll need to address the public."
"I don't know if it's a moment in a club is the biggest offense, but I do agree she's got the onus is a bit bigger on her to always lead by an example," resident Naveen Baraj told KNTV.
This isn’t the first time that Breed is being criticized for breaking her own coronavirus rules. She was spotted in the swanky French Laundry restaurant in November dining with seven other people to celebrate the birthday of a friend, socialite Goretti Lo Lui, the same restaurant Gov. Gavin Newsom was criticized for dining maskless at around the same time.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents San Francisco in Congress, drew criticism in 2020 for not wearing a mask at a hair salon that was supposed to be closed because of the coronavirus.
Fox News' Emma Colton contributed to this report.