On most topics I’m happy to agree to disagree, and respect other opinions. One exception is those who refuse to wear face masks on planes for ridiculous reasons, like claiming it violates their freedom.
The scientific community is more or less in agreement that everyone wearing face masks when physical distancing isn’t possible can help reduce or slow the spread of coronavirus.
Today an American Airlines passenger was removed from a flight for not wearing a mask, and I can’t help but be amused about how all of this went down.
Man refuses to wear mask because “sanity”
Brandon Straka, who I had never heard of prior to this (and who is a self proclaimed gay, former liberal), took to Twitter yesterday to complain about being removed from an American Airlines flight while enroute to a Trump rally in Tulsa.
He was removed from a flight for not wearing a mask. According to him, the conversation went like this:
Flight Attendant: Excuse me, sir, do you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask?
Flight Attendant: May I ask what that is?
He then posted a video after being kicked off the plane:
As Brandon explained his decision not to wear a mask:
I won’t be taking lessons in courteous behavior from liberals, thank you. But you are 100% welcome to be a compliant little stooge. But – my body, my choice.
Apparently his “my body, my choice” philosophy only extends to face masks…
But that’s not actually the interaction that happened
Unfortunately for Brandon, he was seated next to a New York Times reporter, who reported that that’s not actually how the interaction went.
Now, before anyone starts claiming “fake news,” this reporter actually posted a video of how the interaction went, and it’s not quite as heroic as how Brandon wanted it to sound. This guy’s facial expressions say it all…
The really sad part in all of this
Here’s the sad part in all of this — the flight attendant was technically in the wrong. The flight attendant did ask if he had a medical condition causing him to not be able to wear a mask. He said yes. She followed that up by asking if he had a medical certificate or documentation from a doctor, which is unfortunately a big no-no.
While airlines are requiring passengers to wear face masks, those with medical conditions don’t have to do so. And crews aren’t allowed to ask for proof of those conditions, so in this case the guy shouldn’t have been asked (even though his only condition seems to be that he’s an insufferable, inconsiderate, jerk).
Also, am I understanding the above video correctly — did the guy next to Brandon really say he also didn’t want to wear a mask, somehow justifying that by explaining he’s from China? What am I missing?
I do appreciate the flight attendant’s response, though — “you have other options available to you. There’s corporate jets. You can take a corporate jet anywhere you want. You don’t even have to go through security.”
American Airlines: please don’t get this lady in trouble. Give her a raise. Put her in charge of the American Airlines Coronavirus Mask Force.
It’s so disappointing to see how many people are denying basic science and refusing to wear masks on planes. The reason it’s so sad is because wearing a mask isn’t just about your own safety, but it’s also about the safety of those around you.
It doesn’t matter whether Brandon agrees or not — when he booked a ticket he knew American Airlines’ policy. I’d guess he very much respects the right of private businesses to set policies as they see fit, no matter what people are excluded as a result.
Surely virtually any doctor would agree that “sanity” is not a medical condition, as much as Brandon would like for it to be (even though he never said that onboard — he just faked it to seem like a hero).
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my observations regarding face masks based on my flight today, because ugh…