Whatever Democratic Boston Mayor Michelle Wu was trying to accomplish with her Instagram Live sessions on Friday, it seems safe to say that she fell short.
Wu’s livestream was bombarded with comments from people protesting the COVID restrictions that the newly elected mayor has made a point of defending, particularly vaccine mandates.
“You are ruining our great city,” one viewer said.
“How long will you mandate tyranny?” another wrote.
Still another added, “Why do you hate kids? Teachers? Cops? Firemen?”
Wu has said it is not the right time to lift the mask mandate in the Boston Public Schools system, Boston 25 News reported.
The city also has a strict vaccine mandate in place — one that forces residents to show proof of vaccination in order to enter certain indoor spaces. Moreover, Wu has tried — with mixed results — to push a vaccine mandate on city workers, drawing the ire police officers and firefighters, among many others, in the process.
HAPPENING NOW: Dozens of protesters holding “Mayor Wu Anti-Labor” signs have arrived at Boston City Hall ahead of @MayorWu’s press conference. She will be discussing how she has postponed the city worker #COVID19 vaccine mandate for a second time@boston25 pic.twitter.com/4CZvQ6v3jW
— Julianne Lima (@JulianneLimaTV) January 24, 2022
Wu’s smile seemed to disappear from her face as she saw commenters criticizing her Friday on Instagram Live.
“Medical tyranny is still tyranny,” one person said, while another added, “Allow individual choice.”
As a comment reading, “STOP THE SEGREGATION. NO VAXX PASS,” flashed across the screen, Wu addressed the criticism — sort of.
“Any questions anyone has,” she told viewers. “I see a lot of friends who uhh, have different – ”
Wu then pivoted to talking about the Lunar New Year.
Writing in the Boston Herald, columnist Joe Battenfeld slammed Wu’s “propaganda campaign to save her COVID vaccine mandates.”
“Mayor Michelle Wu is desperately trying to set up a counter-narrative to her rocky start, using kids, parents groups and supporters to prop her up in what should be her honeymoon phase,” he wrote.
“Supporters of Wu, including nurses and teachers, all of a sudden began showing up outside her Roslindale front porch this week, seeking to drown out the loud protesters who have been hounding her to rescind her COVID vaccine mandates.”
Battenfeld said this was no coincidence.
“The show of support seemed timed to show the media and voters that Wu has the backing of her constituents in what is a personally challenging time for her. It’s unlikely the group of supporters just showed up without consulting with Wu’s camp first,” he wrote.
Will it work? That remains to be seen, Battenfeld said.
“The answer will likely determine whether Wu is just a one-term wonder,” he added.