Congressman’s viral tweet calls out House’s double standard

Democratic Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush called out a double standard he saw on the House floor this week.

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz from Florida wore a gas mask on the House floor in some sort of coronavirus stunt. Rush took that opportunity to recall a time he wore a hoodie in support of Trayvon Martin back in 2012. Seeing how both incidents panned out, it sure seems like a double standard. 

Rush was chided for his 2012 speech, during which he said: “Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them a hoodlum.” As he finished talking, he was led away by a floor clerk, CNN reported at the time. 

The rule that Rush supposedly broke was that you’re not allowed to wear a hat on the House floor. But neither a hood nor a gas mask are technically hats, even if they do cover parts of the face or head.

The stunt from Gaetz, meanwhile, was seemingly designed to downplay the very real risk of the coronavirus, which is spreading throughout the U.S. and has killed thousands globally. The coronavirus causes the disease that’s been officially named COVID-19

“Look, members of Congress are human petri dishes,” Gaetz told TMZ, “We fly through the dirtiest airports, we touch everyone we meet, so if anyone’s gonna get coronavirus, it’s totally gonna be Congress.”

Gaetz seemed to be trying to score a quick laugh of some sort over the coronavirus crisis only beginning in the United States. The stunt occurred when the House was conducting a vote on an $8.3 billion emergency response bill to combat the spread of the deadly virus.

Rush wasn’t pleased with that message.

“Double standards aside, the coronavirus is not a joke and the thousands of deaths worldwide are not to be taken lightly,” he tweeted.

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