The head U.S. climate envoy, John Kerry, is very much in the “liberal hypocrisy” spotlight after what he called a “momentary” violation of CDC mask rules.

Kerry was photographed while reading a book maskless on an American flight in spite of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mandate requiring masks on flights.

The photo, posted initially by conservative outlet the Tennessee Star, shows the Kerry’s mask hanging off one ear.

Fox News confirmed the photo’s authenticity with the passenger, who wished to remain anonymous.

Kerry responded on Twitter saying that the mask slip was “momentary.”

“Feels like there’s some St. Patrick’s day ‘malarkey’ afoot on Twitter,” Kerry wrote. “Let’s be clear: If I dropped my mask to one ear on a flight, it was momentary. I wear my mask because it saves lives and stops the spread. It’s what the science tells us to do.”

The passenger responded to Fox News about Kerry’s Wednesday tweet.

“His mask was off for five minutes. If five minutes is ‘momentarily,’ he’s correct. Not sure being in a plane without a mask for five minutes is excusable.”

The passenger said Kerry wore his mask at the gate and while boarding, telling Fox News that they did not see any of the flight attendants on board instructing Kerry to put his mask back on, but noted that Kerry later wore it for most of the flight. 

American Airlines told Fox News: “Masks are required on board our aircraft. … The crew did not observe Secretary Kerry without a mask, and they were not alerted by other customers to a non-compliance issue. We continue to review the matter and we are reaching out to Secretary Kerry to underscore that all customers are expected to wear masks for the duration of their trip.”

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