By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) – Former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate, is facing criticism for a picture circulating on social media of him not wearing a mask on a flight.

The Tennessee Star’s Neil McCabe obtained a photo of Kerry not wearing mask as he was reading a book in first-class on an American Airlines flight from New York to Boston Wednesday. The photo shows the mask hanging off Kerry’s left ear.

The photo prompted criticism from many, including the likes of Donald Trump Jr., the son of former President Donald Trump.

Kerry responded to the criticism on Twitter Wednesday, calling it “malarkey” while also saying, “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.”

In January, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that requires people to wear masks on planes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. American Airlines confirmed on Wednesday that they are “looking into” the situation.

The airline’s policy does state that masks can “only can be removed briefly for eating and drinking.”

CBSBoston.com Staff