Health official bows out of Mardi Gras parade; cites threats

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans’ health director says she won’t take part in one of the earliest parades of the Mardi Gras season, citing threats over the city's of restrictions to combat the highly contagious omicron variant.

The Krewe du Vieux says it still considers Dr. Jennifer Avegno its queen and will include her float in its parade, one of the first in the Carnival season leading up to Fat Tuesday, news outlets reported. The parade, known for wild satire, will be held Feb. 12 under the theme “Vaxxed and Confused.”

Avegno's letter to the parade group did not describe any specific threats, The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate

But she wrote that city officials are facing more “negativity and hatred” since COVID-19 mitigation measures were re-imposed.

“I do not want to create a security risk by my participation,” Avegno wrote, “and so believe the best place for me this year is behind the scenes helping to continue protecting our community.”