- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Republicans in red states refusing to wear masks everywhere are to blame for the omicron outbreaks and canceled vacations, thundered Rep. Eric Swalwell, California Democrat.

But not in his case.

Mr. Swalwell was photographed Tuesday vacationing in mandate-resistant Florida without a mask.

According to photos posted by the Daily Mail (U.K.), Mr. Swalwell spent part of the week at the posh Loews Miami Beach Hotel and was not wearing a mask in the public indoor space.

In the photos, he is chatting with a female friend, also unmasked, in the hotel lobby while taking care of his infant son.



Another person in the lobby told the Daily Mail that a guest saw the group, he sarcastically told the California Democrat, “nice to see you in Miami.”

According to the eyewitness, he replied “thank you,” but was left “speechless” when the guest asked him about his vaccination status and why he wasn’t wearing a mask.

The Swalwell vacation came a week after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat and a progressive hero, was photographed maskless while in Miami Beach. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez blamed the furor on Republicans being jealous they can’t date her.

But unlike Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Mr. Swalwell has been extremely blunt in blaming the pandemic and the resulting lockdowns on Republicans.

For example, on New Year’s Eve, in response to a Republican Party tweet about the effectiveness of booster shots.

“As we end 2021, mired in a deadly pandemic, you should know who has prolonged it. THESE GUYS. Republican liars. Your vacation cancelled. Your kids back to virtual learning. And back to masks everywhere. For blame look no farther than #theseguys,” he wrote.

In a statement to the Daily Mail, Mr. Swalwell‘s office said he “was in the Sunshine State to take official meetings and campaign to help Democrats keep the House.”

He loves Florida and has dozens of family members there. It is lies from unvaccinated Republicans that are prolonging the pandemic,” the statement said.

In between the Ocasio-Cortez flap and the latest about Mr. Swalwell, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, chuckled about “lockdown politicians.”

“If I had a dollar for every lockdown politician that decided to escape to Florida over the last two years, I’d be a pretty doggone wealthy man,” said Mr. DeSantis, who has been accused of murder by some liberals over the state’s lax COVID rules.

“I think a lot of Floridians will say “wait a minute, you’re bashing us because we’re not doing your draconian policies and yet we’re the first place you want to flee to…to be able to enjoy life,’” he said at a Monday press conference.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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