On Monday, the annual Met Gala introduced celebrities, athletes, and politicians to the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork in New York Metropolis for a elaborate fundraiser. This 12 months, a lot consideration was paid to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.), who wore a gown with the message “tax the wealthy” written on it.
The irony of AOC demanding increased taxes on the wealthy whereas partying with them at a celebrity-filled extravaganza that prices $30,000 a ticket wasn’t misplaced on anybody; the congresswoman addressed the criticism by noting that it was her accountability as a New York Metropolis official to assist maintain “cultural establishments open to the general public,” and the fundraiser helps pay for the museum.
AOC’s proper that the discord between the message on her gown and her attendance on the occasion should not be making folks upset. That is as a result of the actual subject right here is not inconsistency on wealth inequality—it is rank hypocrisy on pandemic restrictions.
In pictures from the occasion, neither AOC nor any of the opposite well-known invitees—Megan Rapinoe, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D–N.Y.), Dan Levy, and on and on—put on masks. (The identical can’t be stated of the workers members attending to the celebrities’ wants.) Why do the wealthy and well-known get a move?
For what it is value, the museum’s policy couldn’t be clearer: All guests ages two years and older are required to put on masks always, no matter vaccination standing. They’re additionally anticipated to keep up six toes of distance from different folks always. AOC stated she was working to maintain the museum open to the general public, however when the general public visits the museum, they’re obligated to comply with irritating and (within the case of masks for the vaccinated) largely pointless procedures. But town’s elite are exempted from such necessities.
In reality, the regulation treats non-celebrities like second-class residents. Hypocrisy is written into New York Metropolis’s official COVID-19 insurance policies. Town’s mandate requires vaccination in all kinds of circumstances: restaurant clients, fitness center staff, and museum guests can all be requested to indicate their vaccination playing cards. Visiting celebrities, although, are exempt. The regulation specifically excludes out-of-town athletes, efficiency artists, and their entourages. (Final 12 months’s quarantine orders equally exempted the identical teams of individuals.)
New Yorkers who object to the vaccine for their very own causes, or have strong immunity following a previous an infection, are nonetheless obligated to obey the mandate. Nationally, the federal authorities has grown increasingly willing to push vaccination and masks. Most college students sitting inside a classroom at current are most likely pressured to put on a masks, whether or not they have been vaccinated or not. However when the elites get collectively for a celebration, the principles seem to exit the window.
This has been a recurring theme of the pandemic, in fact. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) imposed brutal restrictions on California residents and demanded excessive social distancing, however had no compunction about attending a non-public dinner with a lobbyist on the luxurious French Laundry. In the beginning of the pandemic, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot instructed metropolis residents that they need to delay getting haircuts. “Getting your roots executed just isn’t important,” she stated. When she stated “your roots,” she actually did imply your roots, as a result of the mayor absolutely went and got a haircut anyway. She justified it by saying: “I am the general public face of this metropolis. I am on nationwide media and I am out within the public eye.”
If the pandemic is over for the aristocracy, it ought to be over for the commoners too—notably those that obtained the shot. AOC and her buddies ought to be at liberty to dress up and go to the ball, however perhaps the remainder of us vaccinated of us need not put on masks in gyms, residence halls, or whereas strolling from the doorway of the restaurant to the desk.