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.
@TheTNStar Exclusive: Biden’s @ClimateEnvoy John Kerry, took off his mask as he settled into a book in his first-class seat just before takeoff today on an @AmericanAir flight Boston to DC. He was not eating, nor drinking. He was simply flaunting Biden’s mandatory mask policy. pic.twitter.com/t1wDq9OtxD
— ReporterMcCabe (@NeilWMcCabe2) March 17, 2021
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.”
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.
— Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry (@ClimateEnvoy) March 17, 2021
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.
It's a federal mandate to wear masks and our policies haven't changed. We're looking into this.
— americanair (@AmericanAir) March 18, 2021
The airline’s policy does state that masks can “only can be removed briefly for eating and drinking.”