TUPELO • Delta Air Lines is investigating an incident involving U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican from Tupelo, not wearing his mask properly for a period of time while aboard a Delta flight.
Matt Harringer, an employee of a Washington-based advertising and media firm, took a picture of Wicker aboard the flight wearing his mask below his chin and posted it onto Twitter saying “I’ve seen enough Republican senators test positive to tweet this photo.”
The post has been retweeted over 25,000 times and has been liked over 79,000 times.
Harringer did not respond to a request for comment for this story, but told the Sun Herald that Wicker sat near him and did not wear his mask over his face properly for at least 90% of the flight on Thursday.
The photo of Wicker wearing his mask below his chin comes after several GOP senators that attended a White House event earlier this week have now tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Rick VanMeter, the communications director for Wicker, said in a statement that Wicker lowered his face mask to eat a snack, and he forgot to put it back up.
“When he was reminded by a flight attendant, he put the mask back up,” VanMeter said. “He did not attend any recent events at the White House and has not been in contact with any of the individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.”
Wicker, the senior U.S. Senator from Mississippi, was on the flight Thursday night, which was apparently before the president and other White House officials tested positive for the virus. Wicker also did not attend the event in the Rose Garden last Saturday, which appears to be the place where the virus was spread.
A communications official from Delta said in a statement that the company takes its mask requirement seriously to protect the health and safety of every passenger and crew member on its flights.
"Masks are required for the duration of our flights, except while eating or drinking,” the spokesperson said. “In this case, all customers followed all crewmember instructions regarding our mask requirements.”