In the Dec. 14 situational update, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), Police Chief Peter Newsham, DR. LaQuandra Nesbitt and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson spoke about the protest incidents over the weekend and impact of COVID-19 in the District and updates on the vaccine.
Bowser addressed the events of the weekend which included several alterations between far right groups and counter protesters and the destruction of black lives matter signs which Bowser said was. “deeply disturbing and maddening.”
Newsham echoed Bowser stating that destruction of property “will not be tolerated here in the District of Columbia.” Newsham is also asking DC residents to look at the images of those who destroyed property so that the police department can identify them.
“We will do everything that we can to identify those folks and make sure they are held accountable for their actions,” Newsham said.
While Newsham reported that attendees who self-identified as members of the proud boys outnumbered counterprotesters by “six or seven to one”, Newsham said that in the altercations that police observed in the streets were the results of “mutual combatants” among the groups.
Mendleson also weighed in on the events labeling attendees as white supremacists and emphasizing the intent of the proud boys and other right wing groups as violence.
“What should have been a beautiful weekend was ruined by white supremacists who came here seeking violence,” Mendleson said.
Today, the District reported 164 new cases of COVID-19 and 1 death. DC crested 25,000 cases of the virus this morning.
After Friday’s approval from the FDA, the CDC advisory committee on immunization practices voted to recommend use of the vaccine and the recommendation was approved by the Director of the CDC shortly thereafter. The clinical trial was shown to be 95% effective and while some reported an immune response to the vaccine such a sore arm and mild headaches, these symptoms are known and expected to resolve quickly.
Mayor Bowser encouraged DC residents to “find the facts” about vaccination and to talk with their primary healthcare providers about the vaccine if they have questions.
This week, medical centers around the District will begin receiving the vaccine. The George Washington University and Howard University hospitals will receive the vaccine sometime today, Medstar Georgetown University Hospital and Children’s National medical center will receive vaccines on Tuesday and Kaiser Permanete will receive vaccines on Wednesday. Bowser emphasized that while these medical centers may receive vaccines this week it may take days or weeks before they are able to administer doses.
Additionally, DC fire and EMS, both considered essential workers, will be among the first to receive the vaccine beginning this Thursday. Dec 17.
Nesbitt spoke about the phases of the vaccine and said she is unsure of when the general public will be able to be vaccinated.
“We can’t provide timelines,” Nesbitt said. “We simply don’t know how much vaccine we will get and when (we will get it).”
Sarah Payne is a History and Neuroscience student at The University of Michigan interning with HillRag. She writes for and serves as an assistant news editor for Michigan’s student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.