Terry McAuliffe, the Virginia Democrat vying to be governor for a second time, was spotted on Amtrak without a mask, apparently ignoring federal law requiring customers and employees to wear a mask “while onboard trains and in stations.”
Photos show the Democrat gubernatorial hopeful talking ton he phone, maskless, aboard a train at New York City’s Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station July 29. In the photo, one can see the sign in the background stating, “Face masks must fully cover the mouth and nose and secure under the chin.”
“Face masks must always be worn unless actively eating or drinking,” the sign reads. McAullife does not appear to be eating or drinking in the photo:
Terry McAuliffe, who supports mask mandates in Virginia, caught on Amtrak and in NYC train station without a mask. COVID can't spread on fundraising trips?
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) September 14, 2021
Amtrak’s website explicitly states that federal law requires “all customers and employees to wear a mask at all times while onboard trains and in stations, regardless of vaccination status or state or local laws.”
The website also spells out: “Neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, face shields, and masks containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind do not qualify as acceptable face coverings.” However, McAulllife was not even wearing one of those. Federal law states:
Face masks can be removed briefly while actively eating, drinking or taking medication. refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law; passengers may be subject to penalties under federal law, denied boarding, removed from the train and banned from future travel in the event of noncompliance.
McAullife has positioned himself as a coronavirus restriction hardliner, going as far as suggesting that life should be made difficult for unvaccinated people. He has also urged all employers in the state to mandate vaccines. McAullife also agrees with forcing children to mask up in school. Terry for Virginia spokesperson Renzo Olivari specifically said the ex-governor “believes everyone should follow CDC guidelines in wearing masks and getting vaccinated.”
The passenger who caught McAullife maskless told Fox News that the candidate was “not wearing a mask on the escalator down to the platform” either.
“We happened to be in the same train car, and I took the second photo. We took our seats, and I didn’t get up for the rest of the trip, so I can’t speak to what he did or did not do during the trip as far as wearing a mask,” the individual added, noting that McAullife was not wearing a mask when they arrived to Union Station in Washington, DC.
“I remember thinking I should say something to him, but didn’t want to start some incident or viral issue,” the individual said, adding that McAullife “kind of highlighted himself because everyone else was wearing a mask.”
“You have an individual who wants to be a leader of a state here in the United States, and it is an absolute double standard. You have to lead by example,” he said, lamenting the lack of accountability for politicians.
This is far from the first time McAullife has made decisions contrary to his purported beliefs. Last month, for example, he hosted a lavish Martha’s Vineyard fundraiser after the area reported a spike in coronavirus cases.