It would appear that several politicians don’t think that airline rules apply to them, and this goes beyond wearing masks.
Politicians violate 14-day exposure rule
There are a variety of methods airlines are using to mitigate risk for passengers. In addition to enhanced cleaning, they also require everyone to wear masks, and require people to confirm that they haven’t been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus in the past 14 days.
President Trump, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Thom Tillis, and others, have tested positive for coronavirus. Despite others having been in close contact with these people, it seems that they think the rules don’t apply to them.
The Star Tribune reports that three of Minnesota’s congressmen flew on Delta on Friday night, despite having been in close contact with President Trump on Wednesday. The representatives are Pete Stauber, Tom Emmer, and Jim Hagedorn. They all flew with President Trump on Air Force One to a rally in Duluth, Minnesota.
During check-in, Delta requires passengers to confirm that they haven’t been knowingly exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days:
To protect the safety of all our customers, we cannot allow anyone to fly who knows they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past two weeks. To travel with us, you must agree that you are not aware that you and, to your knowledge, those in your itinerary have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
The three were traveling last night from Washington National Airport to Minneapolis St. Paul on DL1043:
- A Delta spokesperson says the flight was less than 40% full
- The flight ended up being delayed by about an hour — there are some reports that this is because some passengers felt uncomfortable with having these representatives onboard, while a Delta spokesperson notes that no one got off the plane
And then you have senators still not wearing masks…
Someone else snapped a photo of Senator Roger Wicker from Mississippi on a Delta flight yesterday evening, with his mask down. He’s clearly on his phone, and there’s no drink in sight.
I’ve seen enough Republican senators test positive to tweet this photo. @SenatorWicker — because you refused to wear a mask on our @Delta flight last night, please let your fellow passengers know your status once you’ve been tested. pic.twitter.com/j2TW6g1gwO
— Matt Harringer (@MattHarringer) October 3, 2020
One would think that if there’s a week for politicians to wear their masks correctly and follow rules, this would be it… but nope.
We’ve seen airlines ban literally hundreds of passengers over lack of mask compliance, though to my knowledge airlines haven’t banned passengers for lying about exposure to coronavirus.
Admittedly it’s easier to prove a lack of mask compliance than it is to prove someone was exposed to coronavirus, especially since the latter requires having “knowingly” been in contact with someone.
That being said, when you’re a politician, and you were with the president just a few days ago, this seems like a situation where it’s appropriate to take action.