US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry is under fire after a photo surfaced on the internet appearing to show the ex-Secretary of State without a face mask on during an American Airlines flight.
Kerry was quick to claim in a tweet on Wednesday that he had dropped his mask "to one ear on a flight" and "it was momentary", referring to "some St. Patrick's day 'malarkey' afoot on Twitter".
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
The claims followed American Airlines saying in a statement that they are "looking into" the alleged incident.
"The crew did not observe Secretary Kerry without a mask, and they were not alerted by other customers to a non-compliance issue. We continue to review the matter and we are reaching out to Secretary Kerry to underscore that all customers are expected to wear masks for the duration of their trip".
Donald Trump Jr. immediately hit out at Kerry, slamming him as "liberal hypocrite" "flouting" President Joe Biden's federal mask mandate.
SPOTTED: Liberal hypocrite & Biden Admin official @JohnKerry flouting @JoeBiden's Federal mask mandate.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 17, 2021
NOTE: His mask is off & he isn’t eating or drinking. Will he be fined for breaking the law & banned from flying @AmericanAir like regular citizens would be?#LiberalPrivilege pic.twitter.com/3j7j57jXVI
"His mask is off and he isn't eating or drinking. Will he be fined for breaking the law and banned from flying American Airlines like regular citizens would be?", the ex-POTUS' son tweeted.
He was echoed by an array of netizens who also expressed frustration over Kerry apparently dropping his mask, with one Twitter user describing Biden's climate tsar as a "habitual liar".
Stop lying, if you'd care it wouldn't happen. Can’t do anything with them excuses— Isaac Rojo (@Ringside_Rojo) March 18, 2021
Doesn’t look temporary. Do better.— wb (@w_brind) March 18, 2021
Sir, you didn’t “drop your mask”. You deliberately broke protocol because you don’t believe the rules apply to you.— Scott Neilson 🇺🇸 (@RP_Coltrane) March 18, 2021
Hyp-O-Crite— LeadershipMatters (@3mdive) March 18, 2021
John Kerry gets to fly without wearing a face mask, but a four-year-old autistic child and his family are given the heave-ho. This is Biden's America.— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) March 17, 2021
I am deeply disappointed, sir, that you chose to not wear a mask on an airplane flight. You know better. Do better. Be a better— Ashleigh M [she/her] (@ashareem) March 18, 2021
You dropped your mask all right.— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) March 18, 2021
But it wasn't helping anyway - we've known you're an habitual liar for a long time
"John Kerry gets to fly without wearing a face mask, but a four-year-old autistic child and his family are given the heave-ho. This is Biden's America", one more netizen wrote on their Twitter page.
Some, however, questioned the whole story, insisting that the picture shows a certain man rather than Kerry, and that "his mask is hanging from his ear". Several netizens were involved in guesswork wondering whether the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate had already been vaccinated or not.
If you look closely, the mask is hanging off one ear. I imagine someone waited the whole flight for the moment it accidentally came loose.— Melanie Blair (@MelTheHorsegirl) March 17, 2021
He should be asked about it though. pic.twitter.com/ep8GiX2Oiz
Where the mask... was hanging off his ear?— Fluffy (@fluffyglof) March 18, 2021
Wait! His mask is hanging from his ear 👂. This photo seems like a set up. Like he took it off 1 ear to sip water, (detractor snaps quick photo) then he put it back on.— Q HUNTER: I Hunt & slay Q 💀 (@choochihead) March 17, 2021
Republicans are quick to judge. Slow to listen.
Earlier this month, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new set of guidelines stipulating that fully vaccinated people can meet indoors without wearing masks or adhere to social distancing measures.