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Dozens of policymakers have violated their own COVID rules over the past year, new list shows

Politicians, officials have been caught traveling, socializing without masks.

Published: January 9, 2021 11:55am

Updated: January 10, 2021 10:52pm

Dozens of policymakers and public health officials have flouted their own coronavirus mitigation rules over the past year, according to a list recently published by the influential conservative Heritage Foundation. 

The list "shows the continuing hypocrisy of local, state, and federal officials who violate their own coronavirus mandates, policies, or other restrictions," Heritage argues.

Many entries on the list, which are drawn from news reports from around the country, highlight instances in which political leaders, after having mandated COVID restrictions on citizens for months, temporarily abandoned the newly imposed rules in order to join and/or praise the Black Lives Matter-led protests and demonstrations that occurred following the death of George Floyd last year. 

In one instance, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — who for a time mandated some of the strictest COVID-19 lockdown policies in the country — violated her own COVID-19 orders by participating in a densely packed march in suburban Detroit. Whitmer's orders at the time dictated that, though protesting was allowed, participants "must adhere to social distancing measures," something the governor herself did not do.

In another much-publicized case, California Gov. Gavin Newsom was caught at a dinner party without a mask and without remaining distant from other participants.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, meanwhile, was caught dining indoors in Maryland while restaurants in his city were closed for indoor dining. 

John McAdams, a political science professor at Marquette University, told Just the News that "trust in public officials is pretty low, so finding them to be hypocrites who won't obey the rules they want to impose on others is no surprise to most Americans."

"But one real consequence will be supporting and stiffening resistance to rules and restrictions a lot of people feel are repressive," he continued. "People's willingness to obey government mandates is heavily dependent on believing the people imposing the mandates are operating in good faith."

"In fact," he added, "a fair number of people, regardless of whether they agree with the health experts, will be inclined to defy the mandates, as an act of resistance against those officials."

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