The Mayor of Boston quickly rescinded her city-wide vaccine passport system after a conservative group filed a federal lawsuit challenging the draconian measures. Make Americans Free Again (MAFA) filed suit in US District Court over the city’s temporary order requiring citizens as young as five to present proof of vaccination for admission to “indoor entertainment, recreation, dining, and fitness settings” within the city. Within five hours of the filing, Mayor Michelle Wu dropped the COVID passport scheme, though she credited higher vaccinations rates and declining hospitalization rates for her change of heart.
MAFA congratulated Attorney Richard Chambers Jr. in a press release for the success of his filing, which came ten days after he sent a letter to Wu requesting that she work within the law. That letter went unanswered. The nonprofit advocacy group, which states its mission is to restore control to citizens to end sweeping COVID mandates and restrictions, hails the action as a victory for their cause.
Even as the vaccine requirements were announced in December, protests erupted across the city. Crowds gathered in Boston City Hall for the announcement shouting “Shame on Wu” and blowing whistles. The Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission was even serenaded by a group performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as he spoke about the sweeping restrictions. Wu had to walk away from the podium and speak to reporters personally to hear their questions.
Just days later, several hundred demonstrators rallied outside the State House. A widely disparate crowd with participants ranging from first responders to a daycare owner spoke to the audience about their misgivings for having the government dictate intensely personal medical decisions and the loss of workers’ rights. The demonstration moved to City Hall before settling at the Paul Revere statue to rend “America the Beautiful.”
All of this is in the American Revolution’s birthplace, which is very fitting.
The Massachusetts State House finally reopened sort of for the first time in almost two years Tuesday, though the memo about lowering restrictions was lost in the mail. A tent outside demands proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before entry, which is remarkably similar to a vaccine passport mandate. And state lawmakers are still doing most of their duties online.
Response to the mandate’s abolishment was swift across the city. TD Garden, the home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics, dropped the proof of vaccination requirement effective Monday, February 21.
Facemasks, however, are still mandated for all people ages two and up for indoor public settings in Boston.