Story at a glance
- A Democratic media consultant tweeted an image of the senator not wearing his mask properly.
- Wicker’s communication director Rick VanMeter said the senator lowered his face mask to eat a snack and forgot to put it back up.
- Delta says a flight attendant asked Wicker twice to adjust his mask and he did.
The chairman of the Senate committee that oversees airlines and transportation policy was seen aboard a Delta Airlines flight last week with his mask dangling underneath his chin for extended periods, according to The Washington Post.
A photo showing Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker (R), who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, aboard a Thursday flight from Atlanta to Jackson, Miss. with his mask off was posted to Twitter by Democratic media consultant Matt Harringer.
“I’ve seen enough Republican senators test positive to tweet this photo,” Harringer wrote. “@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.”
I’ve seen enough Republican senators test positive to tweet this photo. @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. pic.twitter.com/j2TW6g1gwO— Matt Harringer (@MattHarringer) October 3, 2020
The Post reports Harringer shared three time-stamped images — one at 8:37 p.m. while the plane was on the ground, one at 9:27 and one at 9:46 — showing the Republican lawmaker with his mask under his mouth or chin.
Wicker’s communication director Rick VanMeter said the senator lowered his face mask to eat a snack and forgot to put it back up.
“When he was reminded by a flight attendant, he put the mask back up. He did not attend any recent events at the White House and has not been in contact with any of the individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days,” VanMeter said, according to WTVA.
The incident happened just before it was revealed President Trump and other administration and campaign officials tested positive for COVID-19.
Delta, which has banned more than 400 people for refusing to wear masks aboard flights, told the Post that a flight attendant recalled two instances during the flight in which the senator was not wearing his mask properly and was asked to adjust it, which he did.
“In this case, all customers followed all crew member instructions regarding our mask requirements,” a Delta spokeswoman told the paper.
The Post noted that the Trump administration the following day rejected a union petition calling for a federal mandate that masks be worn by all passengers on planes, trains and buses.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW