A Texas Congressman and outspoken critic of the federal mask mandate was filmed without a mask for several minutes chatting with other passengers onboard a Southwest Airlines flight to Austin.
Texas GOP Congressman Flouts Mask Rule On Southwest Flight To Austin
Chip Roy (R-TX) was on Southwest Airlines flight 2799 from Washington (DCA) to Austin (AUS) on Tuesday evening when he was filmed and photographed by another passenger openly flouting the federal mask mandate, which requires all passengers two years of age and over to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while onboard a flight, unless eating or drinking.
Roy has been a blunt critic of the federal mask mandate, calling it pointless theatre:
“With cotton masks on an airplane, where everybody is pretending like they’re doing something noble to try to save people from a virus on a cylinder with 50 people on it flying through the air. My question to you all is how are people wearing a cotton mask on an airplane saving you from circulating virus on an airplane?”
Roy also repeatedly violated House of Representatives rules that required members of Congress to wear masks while on the House Floor, though that rule has since been lifted.
Last week, Roy co-sponored a bill to that seeks to immediately end the federal mask mandate by removing Executive Branch power to to require masks on airplanes, trains, and busses.
While Roy’s staff did not respond, Southwest Airlines told the Associated Press there were no “irregularity reports” on the flight. The length of time he had his mask off and the fact he was standing in the aisle suggests the flight attendants either ignored or went along with his decision to flout the mask mandate.
While not law, the federal mask mandate does call for fines of $250 for the first offense up to $1,500 for repeat offenses. Furthermore, airlines have added mask requirements to their terms and conditions, which you are required to accept when checking in for your flight.
I’m ready for the mask mandate on airplanes to end as well, but I never understood why “law and order” politicians so brazenly refuse to abide by contracts they voluntarily entered into. In choosing to fly Southwest, Roy attested that he would abide by Southwest’s rules onboard, which require wearing a mask. While opposition to the mask mandate is one thing, refusing to abide by it is quite another.
image: Chip Roy / Instagram