On Wednesday evening a photo of President Biden’s “climate czar” John Kerry circulated on social media after he was reportedly spotted going “maskless” on an American Airlines flight to Washington, D.C. The photo was first published on the website of the Tennessee Star and showed a bare-faced Kerry seated in first-class on a flight from Boston to the nation’s capital earlier in the day.
American Airlines requires all passengers to wear masks on board, in accordance with directives from the CDC and TSA, as well as Kerry’s boss. On Jan. 21, President Biden issued an executive order mandating face coverings during interstate air travel. The flight from Boston to D.C. takes roughly an hour and a half.
The airline even confirmed the policy via a statement last month, “Consistent with U.S. government directives, individuals who refuse to wear a mask may be denied boarding, removed from the aircraft or subject to penalties under federal law, in addition to being barred from future travel with American.”
Travelers are allowed to remove masks to eat or drink, but in the photo it doesn’t seem that the former secretary of state was doing either.
While American Airlines is reportedly looking into the matter, it didn’t take long on Wednesday evening for the photo to circulate – with many conservative voices calling out the nation’s first Special Presidential Envoy for Climate for failure to follow federal guidelines.
“SPOTTED: Liberal hypocrite & Biden Admin official @JohnKerry flouting @JoeBiden’s Federal mask mandate. NOTE: His mask is off & he isn’t eating or drinking. Will he be fined for breaking the law & banned from flying @AmericanAir like regular citizens would be? #LiberalPrivilege,” tweeted Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr).
MORE FOR YOU
Conservative commentator Todd Starnes (@toddstarnes) also called out Kerry, ” John Kerry gets to fly without wearing a face mask, but a four-year-old autistic child and his family are given the heave-ho. This is Biden’s America.”
Larry the Cable Guy (@GitRDoneLarry) added, “Figures. #TeamHypocrite RT @Breaking911: NEW: American Airlines says they’re ‘looking into’ incident where U.S. special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry was spotted maskless on flight from Boston to Washington.”
“White House Silent on Photos of John Kerry Not Wearing Mask on Commercial Flight,” mocked Breitbart News’ Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) regarding the incident.
Reporter Trish Regan (@trish_regan) added the hastah “#MaskForTheeButNotForDems” in her Wednesday evening tweet.
“You and your family would have been kicked off the plane, banned from @AmericanAir for life, and threatened with arrest. @johnkerry and @AmericanAir have a lot of explaining to do here. But they won’t,” suggested Newmax reporter John Cardillo (@johncardillo).
Many travelers voiced their frustration at Kerry’s apparent flaunting of the rules.
“I fly American regularly. The preflight announcements repeatedly inform everyone on the plane that removing your mask in this way could result in a lifetime ban from the airline. Make it happen American… Ban John Kerry!,” posted @Anthea06274890.
Chef Andrew Gruel (@ChefGruel) also noted that many regular people are routinely called out by flight attendants for failure to adhere to the rules, “Normally I hate the nitpicking, but this is the world in which we live. My six year old was reprimanded for having his mask below his nose for 30 seconds. Babies have been removed from planes.”
Given the volume of chatter on Wednesday, it isn’t surprising that American Airlines did post a response from its official site (@AmericanAir), “It’s a federal mandate to wear masks and our policies haven’t changed. We’re looking into this.”
Shortly after 7:30pm EDT Kerry responded from the Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry account (@ClimateEnvoy), “Feels like there’s some St. Patrick’s day ‘malarkey’ afoot on Twitter. Let’s be clear: If I dropped my mask to one ear on a flight, it was momentary. I wear my mask because it saves lives and stops the spread. It’s what the science tells us to do.”
While that tweet was liked more than 4,800 times before 11pm, it was clear that many users weren’t buying the story. Instead, Kerry managed to follow up on what Tucker Carlson accomplished last week – largely unifying the masses on Twitter.