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John Kerry says dropping mask on flight was 'momentary'

U.S. special envoy for climate John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy: Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process| EPA official directs agency to ramp up enforcement in overburdened communities | Meet Flint prosecutor Kym Worthy Republicans request documents on Kerry's security clearance process Feehery: Biden seems intent on repeating the same mistakes of Jimmy Carter MORE on Wednesday said dropping his mask on a flight was "momentary" after a photo surfaced showing him without a mask on.

“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,” Kerry said. 

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American Airlines had earlier responded to a tweet about the picture saying the company is “looking into this.”

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“The crew did not observe Secretary Kerry without a mask, and they were not alerted by other customers to a non-compliance issue,” a spokesperson for American Airlines later told The Hill. “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.”

The picture was first given to the Tennessee Star and showed Kerry reading a book with his mask hanging off his ear. Kerry was reportedly on a flight from Boston to Washington, D.C.

All airlines, under federal guidance, have required masks for everyone above the age of two on flights.

"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, who took the picture, told 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 said.

American Airlines has previously denied letting a passenger board a plane for not wearing a mask and other airlines have kicked people off flights for not following mask guidelines. 

The Hill has reached out to American Airlines for comment.

Updated at 10:41 p.m.