The mayor of Washington DC has decided to introduce new Covid restriction to the US capital starting on January 15, when businesses and many venues will start asking for proof of vaccination and, on top, a picture ID as yet more proof – that their vaccine pass really belongs to them.
The new rules concerning ID verification will apply to everyone over 18 who wishes to enter a restaurant, bar, gym, movie theater, etc., and the mandate is being introduced by Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat. Bowser announced the more stringent measures back in December.
Children aged 12 to 18 will also have to show vaccination cards if they wish to enter restaurants, concert venues, bowling alleys, and other venues. In addition, these businesses will have to put a sign in their window that notifies customers and reads, “Attention: Per Mayor’s Order 2021-48, COVID-19 Vaccination is REQUIRED to enter this business” – the Washington DC government’s site explains.
However, the inclusion of photo IDs in the vaccine mandate scheme in the District as an order coming from a Democratic mayor looks puzzling to those who recall that the party’s leaders, including President Biden, previously equated requiring photo IDs to vote to “21st century Jim Crow” – referring to historical state and local racial segregation laws in the US.
When Biden went after Georgia last summer for its new voter law that required citizens to prove their identity with an ID, he effectively accused the state and Republicans of introducing discrimination against minorities, who are most likely to lack picture IDs, saying the new legislation was “un-American” and designed to deny people their rights – in that case, the right to vote.
Biden went on to accuse his political opponents of enacting a law that was “a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience.”
But no such consideration seems to now be extended to Washington DC residents who will have to show their ID cards, driver’s licenses, passports, or another state-issued document to avoid getting cut off from many everyday activities.