Biden administration "Special Presidential Envoy for Climate" John Kerry was photographed Wednesday without a mask on his flight from Boston to Washington in violation of federal mandates to wear one, the Tennessee Star reported.
The photograph, taken by a fellow passenger on the American Airlines flight, shows the 77-year-old Kerry in first class reading a book without a mask, neither eating nor drinking, according to the Star.
Fox News confirmed the passenger who provided the photograph was on the flight. They did not disclose his name.
"I salute our Very Special Presidential Envoy for Climate for not flying private, but instead flying first class commercial with the rest of us common folk," the passenger said to Fox News. "And while he can’t bring himself to follow his own party’s mask restrictions, we should cut him some slack.
"Being an elite hypocrite is hard work!"
The passenger added that the flight was mostly full, and that while Kerry wore his mask at the boarding gate, he removed it from covering his face shortly after settling into his seat.
He added that no flight attendants instructed Kerry to wear his mask, but that he wore the mask for most of the flight.
American Airlines said it would investigate the incident.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mandated masks be worn over the mouth and nose while on domestic flights on Jan. 29.
"People must wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose when awaiting, boarding, traveling on, or disembarking public conveyances," it says. "People must also wear masks when entering or on the premises of a transportation hub in the United States."
President Joe Biden personally reinforced the order in a March 11 address, telling the nation "We need everyone to keep … wearing the masks as recommended by the CDC."
Additionally, American Airlines said it would enforce the regulations ordered by the Biden administration by requiring passengers to comply with the order or they would be removed from the aircraft.
Kerry has been accused of hypocrisy in his work before, including taking a private jet to receive an environmental group’s award for his climate work. Kerry defended the decision at the time by telling a reporter: "it's the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle."
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