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DC health department shuts down sports bar for refusing to check patrons' vaccine cards

Image Source: WUSA-TV YouTube video screenshot

A sports bar in Washington, D.C., has been shut down for refusing to enforce social distancing guidelines with its employees and with the bar patrons.

"The Big Board" co-owner Eric Flannery spoke out on Fox News after officials stripped the bar of its liquor license. He said that he objected to his employees being forced to wear masks while the patrons are allowed to go maskless while they are seated and eating.

"It's ridiculous," said Flannery. "And the thing is customers will come in all the time and some will be there and they repeat their orders to us and we're like, 'Oh, it's just my mask, I can't hear it.' It's really hard to hear people when you can't see their lips move."

On Tuesday, a notice from the D.C. health department said the bar had been shut down until further notice over "imminent health hazards" to the public.

Shortly after the notice appeared, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) visited to eat at the restaurant and to show their support for the owners.

Owners of the bar started a donation campaign to help them pay the thousands in fines they have incurred so far.

"We believe that this decision to shut down our family-owned restaurant - which recently celebrated 10 years on H St - during a time when so many small businesses have already suffered, was unjust and that we are not alone in this belief," they said on their campaign at GiveSendGo. They had already raised more than $18,000 on GoFundMe.

WUSA-TV previously reported that many other restaurants were ignoring the vaccine card mandate, but that the Big Board was far more brazen and outspoken about its defiance of the rules. When they tested about 20 restaurants in the same area, they found that only about half enforced the rules.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser responded to the controversy in a media briefing with reporters.

"We don't want to shut anybody down," claimed Bowser.

"That's how we've approached this throughout this 20-some months of this pandemic," she explained. "We want to give people support, advice, supplies, help, whatever they need, but we do need them to follow the regulations."

Here's a local news report about the Big Board:

DC moves to shut down bar for refusing to enforce vaccine card mandate www.youtube.com

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