There is no CDC guidance that suggests holding your breath is equivalent to removing a mask in close-quarters or public settings, nor is there evidence that holding your breath would mean that there is a zero percent chance of infection, as the mayor suggested. One 2020 MIT Medical answer on holding one’s breath to prevent the spread of Covid-19 said that “in all likelihood, it’s not at all helpful.”
Spokespeople for Garcetti did not immediately respond to requests for further explanation of the mayor’s comments.
The California Department of Public Health announced in December that it would extend its statewide mask mandate in all indoor public settings — SoFi Stadium is an indoor-outdoor facility — until Feb. 15 regardless of vaccine status. Latest data shows that Los Angeles County reported 102 deaths and 15,664 new cases related to Covid-19 infection on Feb. 2.
More than 70,000 people were in attendance at the stadium, which also has a mask requirement.
Also photographed maskless at the game were San Francisco Mayor London Breed and California Governor Gavin Newsom, both of whom have been the subject of past criticism over public appearances without masks. Newsom, in remarks earlier this week about the photo, said he “was trying to be gracious” by removing his mask for the photo. Images of Newsom from the Rams’ website shows him and others in a SoFi Stadium suite watching the game without masks on, while other images show the governor wearing a mask during the game.
Garcetti, in his Wednesday remarks to the press, challenged the notion that he had violated California’s Covid rules.
“What we need to focus on is continuing to get people vaccinated, make sure that when people are in close spaces or for long periods of time not adhering to the advice what spreads happens,” Garcetti said to reporters. “So let’s focus on what’s real instead of what’s unreal. I’ll continue to wear my mask at every single game and I’ve been proud to be at every single game.”