Senator Roger Wicker not wearing a mask on a plane

Matt Harringer/Twitter

Citizen exposes GOP senator for not wearing mask on plane

'Please wear a mask, even if you're a senator.'

Oct 3, 2020, 12:44 pm*

Internet Culture


Mikael Thalen

A photograph that shows a Republican senator wearing a mask incorrectly on a plane has gone viral on Twitter.

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Captured by Twitter user Matt Harringer, the picture shows Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) aboard a Delta Air Lines flight with a blue face mask around his neck but not covering his nose or mouth.

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"I've seen enough Republican senators test positive to tweet this photo," Harringer wrote on Friday. "@SenatorWicker—because you refused to wear a mask on our @Delta flight last night, please let your fellow passengers know your status once you've been tested."

The photograph comes after at least seven Republican politicians, including President Donald Trump, tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a political event. Harringer's post has racked up over 23,000 retweets and more than 67,000 likes.

Delta Air Lines, which was tagged in the tweet, responded by stating that the company had opened an investigation.

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"Hello Matt. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people and our customers," @Delta said. "We take our mask policy seriously and are investigating this incident. Kylie."

Harringer urged his followers to "please wear a mask, even if you're a senator" and shared a photo of a close friend had died as a result of COVID-19.

"This was one of my best friends, Alison Schwartz," Harringer wrote. "She died of Coronavirus at 29-years old on April 28th. Please wear a mask, even if you're a senator."

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Wicker does not appear to have publicly addressed the controversy. The senator did, however, send his regards to Trump following his diagnosis. "Gayle and I are praying for the President and the First Lady," Wicker tweeted on Friday. "We hope they continue to feel well and recover quickly."

The senator's tweet has since been flooded with references to the photograph from outraged users. "I am praying that your test comes back negative because what an asshole if your arrogance got innocent people sick on a @Delta flight," user @christinelu said.

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Wicker is just one of several Republican lawmakers to stir controversy this week for issues linked to the coronavirus. Three Republican congressmen from Minnesota used Delta to return home on Friday after traveling with the president on Air Force One, a violation of the airline's policies regarding travelers recently exposed to the coronavirus.

Although the three legislators tested negative on Friday, Delta's rules state that individuals are not permitted to fly until 14 days after their exposure.

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*First Published: Oct 3, 2020, 12:43 pm