Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is being called out for opposing masks in public, while choosing to wear one on a plane when she travels. This photograph has been viewed on Twitter more than 1.5 million times. However, this narrative is a fraud.
Hey @laurenboebert! I think it’s great you voluntarily wore a mask on the plane to protect yourself and others, but why not say that. Oh wait. That’s right. You lie to your constituents and the no mask is all a show for them. pic.twitter.com/k9n2y9xTjy
— Dr. Haidak (JP), Psy.D. 🇺🇸🇮🇱🏳️🌈 (@JHaidak) January 30, 2023
The story is that,
- Masks are no longer required on planes
- Here’s Boebert wearing one
- Even though she publicly has railed against masking requirements, refusing to comply
The problem is that this is not a new photo. In fact it was taken back when masks were required to be worn on planes. At best it shows her refusing to engage in civil disobedience, preferring to make it to her destination than get kicked off of a flight.
Here’s the first example I found of the photo being used in the past, in June 2022, to claim she’s hypocritical on masks, since federal transportation mask mandate enforcement ended April 18, 2022.
— Bosco (@zeebee00) June 9, 2022
And here’s that photo in October 2021, when the federal transportation mask mandate was still in place.
Apparently it’s only tyranny when the cameras are on. Here we have Lauren Boebert on a plane wearing her mask without any issue. People like her, Gaetz and MTG are nothing more than carnival Barkers meant to create attention to make us look at them while the GOP robs us blind! pic.twitter.com/Di0fR8nDA8
— Richard N. Ojeda, II (@Ojeda4America) October 2, 2021
As far as I can tell, the photo does date to October 2021. She defied the mask mandate on the House floor and was fined $500 for it, but complied with the rule on planes.
Of course from the photo you can tell that she’s flying American Airlines Airbus A321 coach, and American’s flight attendants were more aggressive in kicking passengers off of flights over masks than United’s who tended to just write up passengers at the end of the flight. You can often ignore what people say on social media whenever air travel is involved.
Is she sitting in business class? How the hell did she suddenly get $40 million in assets?
— Bob Resists (@ResistsBob) January 30, 2023
Looks like first class as well. Saving this pic.
— Djv (@Darlajeanv) January 30, 2023
So does this mean she’s grandstanding over masks, complying in one case and not another? Maybe, or that selective disobedience is how she made her point – where personal cost was lowest. But there’s no question that the narrative, spreading like wildfire around social, that she was essentially lying about her position on masks – wearing one when it’s no longer required at all – is completely false.
Many people, though, strongly believed that once vaccines and treatments became widely available there wasn’t a case for making masks mandatory, but that it’s completely appropriate to choose to properly wear a high quality mask to protect oneself. So wearing one voluntarily wouldn’t be at all inconsistent with arguing against a requirement that masks be worn.