More blatant ‘masks for thee, but not for me’ behavior yesterday from John Kerry and Sen. Tom Carper (D DE)
Face masks have become Obedience Theatre, a way for bullies with the power of the state behind them to force everyone else to visibly submit to their power. Mask mandates do not save lives. Life without smiles from the clerk at the pharmacy or the stranger who holds a door open for a mother pushing baby in a stroller into the Post Office signals a new reality, one in which our liberties are constrained as never before. We live in a grim new world, forced to breathe in our own carbon dioxide as our face masks trap exhaled breath.
Meanwhile, the politically powerful flaunt their immunity to the legal, corporate, and social constraints that keep the rest of us hiding all but our eyes from others, like Muslimas in hijabs.
John Kerry must have forgotten that plebeians who ride commercial airliners instead of his customary Gulfstream private jet, The Flying Squirrel (that actually belongs to his wife, Theresa Heinz, who inherited her wealth from her late husband, Republican senator John Heinz, heir of the pickle, ketchup, and baked beans fortune) are supposed to wear face masks the entire time they are aboard, except when eating or drinking. The Tennessee Star posted a picture of him aboard an American Airlines flight from Boston to Washington, D.C. (in first class, of course) with his face mask dangling from his left ear.
Image credit: Tennessee Star.
No food or drink is evident, just documents.
Of course, it is much easier to breathe and get adequate oxygen in the thinner air of a pressurized airliner when no mask is worn, but if try going maskless on a commercial airliner, expect a demand to mask up and, if you don't, a ban from future air travel. As the Tennessee Star notes:
The Center for Disease Control issued a Jan. 29 order, under its authority from the Public Health Act, that became effective Feb. 2, which reads in part: "People must wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose when awaiting, boarding, traveling on, or disembarking public conveyances. People must also wear masks when entering or on the premises of a transportation hub in the United States."
And American Airlines agrees:
"Our mask requirement has been and will continue to be a critical component of our comprehensive effort to protect the health and well-being of our customers and team members during the pandemic," said Seymour. "This federal mandate will provide additional support to our crew members who are working diligently to enforce our policy and further reinforce the safety of air travel during COVID-19."
Unless you are a Very Important Democrat, apparently.
Kerry is far from alone. And not even as blatant about his immunity from the restrictions the rest of us face while traveling. Yesterday, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) had the effrontery to claim on Twitter that he was holding a virtual Senate hearing while traveling maskless on an Amtrak train:
Yes, I’m leading this hearing from an Amtrak train.— Senator Tom Carper (@SenatorCarper) March 17, 2021
Tune In ⬇️ https://t.co/XUYpnQ2dVI
The only problem was the wasn't wearing a mask as required:
WATCH: @SenatorCarper began chairing a hearing this morning on a train and arrived about 30 minutes later.@SenDuckworth: "I hope you weren't on the quiet car."— CSPAN (@cspan) March 17, 2021
Sen. Carper: "I was not. I went all the way to the front car and there weren't many people up there." pic.twitter.com/Yb0WFDXZqs
Katie Pavlich of Townhall notes Amtrak’s explicit policy:
"Federal law and Amtrak policy require all customers and employees to wear a mask or covering that fully covers the entire mouth and nose, fits snugly against the side of the face, and secures under the chin at all times while onboard trains and in stations, even if state or local policies are different," the Amtrak website states. "Neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, face shields, and masks containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind do not qualify as acceptable face coverings. Face masks can be removed briefly while actively eating, drinking or taking medication. Children under 2 years old are not required to wear a face covering. Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law; passengers may be subject to penalties under federal law, denied boarding, removed from the train and banned from future travel in the event of noncompliance.
"Amtrak reserves the right to remove customers or ban them from future travel in the event of noncompliance with Amtrak's face covering policy," the policy continues.
Carper could have learned this by watching a 45-second video the federally owned railway posted last month:
Learn more about wearing masks while traveling with Amtrak.— Amtrak (@Amtrak) February 17, 2021
Don't hold your breath waiting for Carper to be banned from Amtrak; he's important (and you're not).