Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) has long been a vocal proponent of mask rules, vaccine mandates, and other government orders meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Now, however, Fox News reports that despite his frequent harping on mask-wearing, Swalwell was spotted maskless indoors while vacationing in sunny Florida, where Republican leaders including Gov. Ron DeSantis have ensured that COVID-related mandates remain off the table.
According to Fox, the sighting, caught on camera, came just days after Swalwell blasted Republicans for having “prolonged” the pandemic by failing to embrace harsh lockdowns and limitations like those that have been imposed in Democrat-led states like the congressman’s home state of California.
Caught on camera
It was the Daily Mail that first obtained photos showing Rep. Swalwell with his infant son while speaking with a woman inside the lobby of the luxurious Loews Miami Beach Hotel on Tuesday, according to Fox.
In the photos, the congressman appeared unshaven and was wearing a polo shirt, shorts, and boat shoes.
According to the Daily Mail‘s source, it wasn’t long before Swalwell was recognized — and at one point, he received some sarcastic questions about being maskless inside a hotel in Florida.
Do as I say, not as I do
The heckling seems justifiable in light of the Democrat’s strong advocacy for mask and vaccine mandates. Just a month ago, he demanded that vaccinations be required for passengers on commercial flights. And on New Year’s Eve, he pinned the blame on the GOP for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:
As we end 2021, mired in a deadly pandemic, you should know who has prolonged it. THESE GUYS. Republican liars. Your vacation cancelled. Your kids back to virtual learning. And back to masks everywhere. For blame look no farther than #TheseGuys. pic.twitter.com/v3S43HKPVZ
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) December 31, 2021
By all appearances, however, the spread of COVID-19 didn’t stop the hypocritical congressman from going on vacation, nor did he seem to have any problem forgoing a mask indoors in Florida — a state that he and his Democratic colleagues have repeatedly and specifically singled out over its handling of the pandemic.
“If I had a dollar…”
Of course, Swalwell is not the only prominent Democrat who has talked trash about Florida and then been spotted vacationing there. Fox News reported separately that Florida Gov. DeSantis had some fun with that reality during a press conference Monday, just before the latest news broke about Swalwell.
“If I had a dollar for every lockdown politician who decided to escape to Florida over the last two years, I’d be a pretty doggone wealthy man, let me tell you,” DeSantis said jokingly, according to Fox. “I mean, congresspeople, mayors, governors, I mean, you name it.” He went on:
It’s interesting the reception that some of these folks will get in Florida, because I think a lot of Floridians say, “Wait a minute, you’re bashing us because we’re not doing your draconian policies, and yet we’re the first place you want to flee to, to basically to be able to enjoy life.”
“There are probably about a half dozen governors who had restrictions on their people and then were spotted at various points in Florida. Some of it’s been public, some of it’s not been public, but you know people tell me these things,” DeSantis added. “I’m happy though that Florida’s a place where people know they can come and they can live like normal people, they can make their own decisions.”