Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday issued an order mandating that people in the district wear facial coverings when they are outside, while carving out large exceptions for city and federal workers on the job.
The order requires people to don the face coverings outdoors if they will ever come near other people, even briefly.
“Persons leaving their residences shall wear a mask when they are likely to come into contact with another person, such as being within six feet of another person for more than a fleeting time,” the order declares.
The mayor’s order makes exceptions from the strict new rules for many city and federal government workers, stipulating: “The enforcement provisions of this Order shall not be applied to persons in the judicial or legislative branches of the District government while those persons are on duty; and shall not apply to any employees of the federal government while they are on duty.”
The National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, the federal agency headed by longtime public health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, has been cited several times over the years for failing to comply with federal contract and expenditure laws, internal government audits reveal.
As scrutiny of Fauci’s role in managing the pandemic grows, the nation’s infectious disease specialist has defended himself by citing his long record in government. But that record includes several ethics and patient safety controversies on his watch as well as numerous citations for violating contract “time” and “amount” rules and the Anti-Deficiency Act, a federal law.
A 2011 report by the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general is emblematic of the repeated problems. Investigators examined a $54.8 million, multi-year federal contract to help Fauci’s agency build and manage a statistical and data coordinating center for medical research project and found NIAID spent tax dollars before they were appropriated by Congress and didn’t account for monies as required by federal regulations.
“NIAID did not comply with the time and the amount requirements specified in the statutes. NIAID violated both the bona fide needs rule and the Anti-Deficiency Act by obligating funds in advance of an appropriation,” the IG concluded, ordering Fauci’s agency to report to Congress it had violated the law. NIH admitted the failures.