If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Mask For Thee, But Not For Me

A Commentary by Brian C. Joondeph

If the last year and a half of COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that hypocrisy is rife within government, media, entertainment, and the medical establishment. Those who, by virtue of their expertise or position, are considered knowledgeable, or even experts, are unable to follow their own recommendations or mandates.

Others, who have a large platform, are happy to say one thing publicly then turn around and do the opposite privately. Is it any wonder trust in government, the media, and big medicine is declining?

The latest example is Barack Obama’s birthday bash on Martha’s Vineyard. What was initially described as “an intimate gathering of family and close friends” turned into the type of COVID-19 super spreader event that only Trump supporters are accused of staging.

Several days before the party, celebrity attendee John Legend tweeted, “Being unvaccinated and/or unmasked at a large indoor gathering is like literally begging to get COVID. Please don’t do that to yourself, your family or your neighbors.”

This was less than a week before the big Obama bash where 300-400 of his closest friends and political donors whooped it up in an enclosed tent, all unmasked. At least two unvaccinated people attended the party, according to Candace Owens. Perhaps more but who really knows?

Their vaccine status is largely irrelevant as the CDC now recommends, “fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.” This would especially apply to a gathering of strangers coming in from all over the country, singing, dancing, shouting.

Perhaps Obama called his birthday party a BLM or Antifa protest, which are exempt from the public health recommendations which apply to small family gatherings like weddings and funerals. The clever coronavirus knows which public gatherings to attack and which to ignore.

Party guests included the scold John Legend, who ignored his “masks for thee,” partying maskless with the former president and his friends. Instead, he decided “no mask for me” despite tweeting the opposite to his 14 million Twitter followers just days earlier.

As an amusing aside, the Vineyard Gazette reported, “Private jets jammed airport for presidential birthday party.” These are the same global warming finger waggers telling everyone to ride a bicycle to work, use mass transit when going shopping, or use an electric car if you must drive. Yet when they need to get somewhere, a mega-carbon-footprint private jet is the only way to go, undoubtedly dropped off and picked up in a large, air-conditioned, gasoline powered SUV.

Legend is not the only one. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who recommended none, then one, then two, then one mask, over the course of the past year and a half, despite no change in mask science during that time, had his own mask hypocrisy moment at a baseball game a year ago when he was photographed unmasked in the bleachers sitting next to his wife and a friend, while telling Americans this was a big no-no.

Then there was also hopefully soon to be recalled California Gov. Gavin Newsom, maskless and not socially distancing, at a fancy Napa restaurant last Fall, defying his own mandates directed at his subjects.

Newsom’s aunt-by-marriage, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, had her own “masks for thee, but not for me” moment last summer when she visited a hair salon, which should have been closed per local ordinances, sashaying around the salon maskless, also against local rules.

Dr. Fauci was quite critical over the Sturgis motorcycle rally as a super-spreader event, but said nothing about the Obama birthday party. Last August the media said the same about Sturgis, yet the rally is on again this year. How could that be? If last year’s rally was a COVID-19 incubator, why aren’t all last year’s attendees dead rather than returning to Sturgis this week?

After a year and a half of collective misery, the COVID-19 rules and restrictions are all coming back, like a bad dream. States are requiring children to wear masks at school, now the third year of hiding their faces, expressions, and rebreathing their own germs and carbon dioxide.

The most vaccinated countries seem to be having the biggest COVID-19 case outbreaks, assuming they indeed have what the nose swab test says they have, leaving many to wonder if the vaccines are as effective as we were told.

The hypocrisy on masks and other measures continues, leaving observers questioning if these mandates “follow the science” or are simply political theater. If those who should know better don’t feel it necessary to follow the rules to avoid contracting this deadly disease, what are the rest of the unwashed to think? Perhaps we the people are just not as sophisticated as the smart set.

A New York Times White House correspondent believes this to be the case, suggesting “Barack Obama's star-studded 60th birthday bash wasn't a high Covid risk because of the ‘sophisticated, vaccinated’ guests who attended.”

I’d wager that there are a higher percentage of four-year college degree holders at a suburban little league game than at Obama’s party, but that’s not “sophisticated” in the eyes of the New York Times. Those of us masking up and following the rules are the knuckle dragging, tooth missing rubes who need the sophisticated elites to keep us from tripping over our own feet.

Finally, there is no mention of the ultimate maskless superspreading party, the southern border. According to NBC News, 18% of migrant families are COVID-19 positive. The border is wide open, and those who are even caught crossing illegally are sent across the country as human bioweapons.

It seems only average American activities are under scrutiny, like a motorcycle rally with MAGA hats. Politically favorable events, like the southern border, Obama’s birthday party, or the leisure activities of Democrat officials are given a pass. Scrutiny for thee but not for me.

Is it any wonder many Americans mistrust the government? According to Rasmussen Reports, “Just 34% think the federal government supports the ideals of freedom, equality and self-government.” Practicing the “do as I say, not as I do” with all things COVID-19 is certainly a major contributing factor.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer.

See Other Commentaries by Brian C. Joondeph.

See Other Political Commentaries.

Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports. Comments about this content should be directed to the author or syndicate.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.