During a Monday press conference, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser seemingly claimed her department’s own numbers surrounding the amount of black school aged children vaccinated against COVID-19 were inaccurate. Unvaccinated school children will be banned from attending Washington, D.C. public schools later this month.

In response to a question from The Daily Signal about how 40% of black school aged children were unvaccinated, Bowser responded, “I don’t think that that number is correct. We have a substantially fewer number of kids that we have to engage with vaccination.”

While Bowser claimed the number provided by The Daily Signal is incorrect, the statistic came from the District of Columbia’s own vaccination data website.

The data shows that around 60% of black kids aged 12-17 have received a complete COVID-19 vaccine regimen, meaning 40% are unvaccinated or have not received a second shot if necessary. The numbers flip for blacks aged 18-24, as the D.C. data shows 60% of adults in that age bracket are unvaccinated or have not received their second shot if necessary.

Per D.C.’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education website, “Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, the COVID-19 vaccine is required for school enrollment and attendance in the District of Columbia for all students who are of an age for which there is a COVID-19 vaccination fully approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”

As of right now, that means D.C. students aged 12 and up will have to be vaccinated or they will be unable to attend school in person.

The vaccine requirement makes D.C. an outlier in the nation, as many of the larger school districts recommend but do not require a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend school in person.

The Daily Signal then asked the mayor about whether or not it was appropriate to respond to kids who aren’t vaccinated by forcing them to attend school virtually.

“You’ve never heard me say that,” Bowser said.

Bowser and the D.C. city government have clashed over whether or not to return kids to classrooms amid lingering COVID-19 concerns. While Bowser has gone on record stating she would prefer kids to be in school, the 13-member D.C. Council has pushed for more exceptions to allow for remote learning.

The Daily Signal reached out to Bowser’s office for comment on the numbers and to clarify her position on remote learning, but did not receive an immediate response.

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