Multiple Republican politicians are catching heat right now for sharing photos of themselves at bars and restaurants—the exact kinds of places people are supposed to be avoiding right now in order to stall the spread of the coronavirus.
One of these individuals is Senator John Cornyn, who had previously called Ted Cruz’s decision to self-quarantine after exposure a “good” one. Rather than following this example (and it’s weird referring to Ted Cruz as a good example to follow), Cornyn went out to a bar to take a really stupid photo.
A U.S. Senator who, along with his colleagues, took a 3-day vacation while a pandemic rages and doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are reusing masks, posts a picture of the beer he's enjoying today instead of voting on the relief package House passed last night. #Nero https://t.co/EKao3pUTKy— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) March 14, 2020
It’s fine to tell the public to refrain from panicking, especially since panic buying has been a thing across the world, but bars have been identified as the kind of social gathering spot with germ hotspots that we’re all supposed to be avoiding right now. And the beer photo is tasteless and badly lit. People are also upset that he was spending time at bars while a badly-needed coronavirus relief package waits to be voted on by the senate.
Sen. John Cornyn, behaving irresponsibly since 2002. https://t.co/PK082pq8mp— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) March 16, 2020
@JohnCornyn, constituent and physician here. Patients are dying and it is going to get MUCH worse. ER physicians are in critical condition. Countless are at inc risk, especially older Americans (aka you). Making light of this in any way is deeply irresponsible. #cornoravirus
— Timothy Singer, MD, MS (@TimothyGSinger) March 15, 2020
John Cornyn, like many of the heartless Republican Senators who are home this weekend, instead of working DOES NOT CARE. Completely agree, he is a disgrace who needs to be sent home this November. #DrainTheSwamp for real this time.
— Guitar George He knows all the chords (@ArtSpanjer) March 15, 2020
But Cornyn isn’t the only Republican setting a bad public health example right now. The governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, posted a photo of himself with his children at a restaurant called The Fried Taco along with the hashtag “#supportlocal” and an announcement that the place was “packed.”
Again, it’s nice to support local businesses if you can in these trying times but packed restaurants are exactly where you are not supposed to be, governor.
Why are Americans like this? When it’s not #RedRobin woman, it’s the FUCKING GOVERNOR OF OKLAHOMA.#COVID19 is not a terrorist attack. You’re not showing us how “brave” you are. You’re showing us how selfish you are. pic.twitter.com/vzPVk3fdU4— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) March 15, 2020
Governor Stitt has since taken the photo of himself with his boys at the restaurant down. However, he did not remove the additional photos of his family at the Oklahoma Youth Expo, described as the “World’s Largest Junior Livestock Show.”
Always love getting to meet the young Oklahomans at @okyouthexpo! As the #1 junior livestock show in America, OYE provides our kids with incredible opportunities & experiences. Good luck to all of the hard working FFA & 4-H students from around the state! #TheGreatestShow pic.twitter.com/gGWt1IjT7w— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) March 13, 2020
Again, people were not pleased with this nonchalant disregard of public health recommendations from the CDC and others.
What are you doing for Oklahomans during this crisis! That should be first and foremost in your schedule! Why is Oklahoma one of 6 states without any testing kits! Your failing Oklahomans.
— Karen Jaco (@karenjaco1) March 13, 2020
2/2 I am in the high risk category. If I get #COVID19 I WILL DIE! I self quarantined 5 days ago. Your postings are like a slap in my face. Go home, stay home & wash your hands.— 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 (@nevermycovfefe) March 15, 2020
Good job at the social distancing, nimrod
— A Secret Society Unto Myself🚣🐙🌊 (@twynklebat) March 15, 2020
A real leader would tell the people what is being done to bring adequate #COVID19 testing to the state and provide a timeline for when that will occur. What is @GovStitt doing? Hanging out in crowds because he doesn’t take this seriously. #SoonerIncompetence #ImagineThat
— Wash your hands. With soap. Regularly. (@heinslmn) March 14, 2020