As cases of COVID-19 tick up across the country and the media continues to fan the flames of panic over the delta variant, it seems some high-profile politicians are doing their best to put on a convincing show about their purported concern over the coronavirus.
The latest to come under scrutiny is New York’s own Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat congresswoman who, according to The Daily Caller, was caught on video wearing a mask for a photo op, before moments later removing it when she apparently thought cameras had stopped rolling.
The caught-on-camera moment occurred Tuesday on the steps of the Capitol building as part of a protest organized by Ocasio-Cortez’s newest “Squad”-mate, Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), to demand an extension to the federal moratorium on evictions.
Mask on, mask off
In a video first obtained and shared by Breitbart that has since gone viral on social media, the congresswoman from New York is seen seated on the steps unmasked while surrounded by dozens of other largely unmasked individuals as someone calls for a photo to be taken.
All of the protesters and members of Congress, including Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), gathered together a little bit tighter on the steps, at which point Ocasio-Cortez slipped on her mask. As the photo was taken, those in attendance declared “housing is a human right.”
Per the video, “one minute later,” the progressive lawmaker from New York City was seen once again smiling and laughing sans mask — though the video did not display the instant when her mask was removed.
Markey, for his part, was already wearing a mask when he took up his position on the steps, but he seemed to immediately pull it down around his chin once the photo-op was completed. Take a look:
AOC joins in on the DC mask theater for a photo op, only to remove it as soon as the camera is down. pic.twitter.com/cRQwE6yy9U
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 4, 2021
Video confirmed real
In the days since the video was published, Newsweek has confirmed its apparent veracity, comparing it to other photos and reporting on the well-publicized event.
In fact, photos of the protest shared on social media all showed the New York congresswoman wearing the same clothes and sitting around some of the same protesters as can be seen in the original Breitbart clip.
Of course, Ocasio-Cortez is said to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and masks are not required when outdoors in such cases, even in Washington. As such, though, it begs the question: Why, then, did the congresswoman put on her mask momentarily for the picture when she was otherwise going maskless at the gathering?
Newsweek requested comment from both Ocasio-Cortez and Markey, but those requests were apparently not honored.