Written by Michael Tennant
From the print edition of The New American:
On April 24, former First Lady Michelle Obama released two public-service announcements (PSAs) urging African-Americans to stay home in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Our communities are among the hardest-hit by the coronavirus, and we’ve got to do everything we can to keep each other safe,” she said in one PSA. “And that means staying home because even if we are not showing any symptoms, we can still spread the virus to others. Let’s keep each other safe by just staying home.”
The very next day, her husband, former President Barack Obama, was spotted golfing at an exclusive club in Virginia that is at least a 45-minute drive from the Obamas’ Washington, D.C., home. “Apparently,” quipped PJ Media’s Matt Margolis, Mr. Obama “didn’t get the memo.”
In reality, the Obamas, like so many other movers and shakers, simply don’t feel the need to abide by the same rules they expect the rest of us to obey unquestioningly. This is not uncommon among statists, particularly those of the “progressive” persuasion, who lecture the rest of us on the need to help the poor while they donate next to nothing to charity, or claim everyone else must revert to hunter-gatherer status to save the planet while they fly all over the world in carbon-spewing private jets.
Such hypocrisy may, however, have reached new heights under the draconian coronavirus lockdowns. Those ordering people to stay home and “nonessential” businesses to close, and those who most vocally advocate for obedience to these policies, seem to feel quite unencumbered by them.
Start Spreadin’ the Germs
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for instance, is a proud proponent of his state’s coronavirus orders. He has pleaded with Gothamites to rat out individuals and institutions they believe are violating the orders, and he personally oversaw the police dispersal of an Orthodox Jewish funeral within the city limits, later threatening “the Jewish community” with “arrest” for further violations.
But when it comes to obeying those same orders, the mayor’s name should perhaps be changed to de Blasé. Just hours before New York’s governor ordered the closure of “nonessential” businesses, including gyms — because the federal government was cautioning against large gatherings — de Blasio made his daily appearance at a city YMCA, a move that two of his former advisors denounced on Twitter. Since then, de Blasio and his wife, along with a full security detail, have continued to take daily walks in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The park is 12 miles from Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence, which includes 11 acres of land and is situated within yet another city park. The pair were even seen strolling in the park without face masks a mere two days after de Blasio told New Yorkers to “wear a face covering when you go outside.”
Challenged on a television program about the contradiction between his words and his deeds, de Blasio said, “I go get my exercise like everyone else.” The walks, he added, “help me to continue working nonstop,” which might be the best reason to put an end to them.
“This is something we just shouldn’t focus on,” he said. “There’s much better things to talk about.” Besides, he ration-alized, “My situation is particular.”
In layman’s terms: “I’m special and shouldn’t be held to the same standards as the rest of you proles. Now lay off!”
Elsewhere in the Empire State, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who had been broadcasting from his basement since he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 31, decided to take a mask- and glove-free Easter Sunday jaunt to some undeveloped property he owns in East Hampton, a 30-minute drive from his home in Southampton.
“When you watch television, you imagine Chris Cuomo is a responsible journalist,” Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson remarked. “In fact, he’s Typhoid Mary.”
Confronted by a bicyclist in East Hampton, Cuomo allegedly shot back, “Who the hell are you? I can do what I want!” The cyclist told the New York Post Cuomo “just ranted, screaming, ‘I’ll find out who you are!’” and threatened him with retaliation.
Responding to the accusations on his SiriusXM radio show, an unchastened Cuomo lamented that, in his version of events, his position in the media prevented him from telling the cyclist off.
Three weeks later, on CNN, Cuomo showed video of Americans enjoying a sunny day outside without masks and social distancing. “Fools!” he exclaimed. “It’s not about you. What about the other people?” That thought apparently never crossed his mind when he chose to visit his vacant lot while knowing that he was infected with COVID-19.
Cuomo’s brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo — who admitted on March 26 that ordering New Yorkers to shelter in place “was probably not the best public health strategy” but kept the order in place nonetheless — said at a May 4 press conference, “You could literally kill someone because you didn’t want to wear a mask.” The governor, however, was not wearing a mask at the time, and neither were the two people seated beside him; all three, therefore, were potential murderers in his book.
Do What I Say, Not What I Do
Illinois, which has been under lockdown orders since March 21, also has its share of patronizing personages.
After Governor J. B. Pritzker issued his first order, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recorded several PSAs encouraging Chicagoans to heed it, including one in which she told someone on the telephone, “Getting your roots done is not essential!” Within a week of the ads’ release, Lightfoot got caught having her hair professionally cut when her stylist posted on Facebook a picture of herself standing right next to Lightfoot; neither was wearing a mask or gloves. (CBS2 Chicago said it had received complaints “that the mayor is not always social distancing at other public events.”)
This article appears in the June 8, 2020, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.
Courtesy of The New American