The Hill reports that a pro-Trump activist named Brandon Straka was kicked off an American Airlines plane because he wouldn't wear a mask. A New York Times reporter who was also on the flight took a video that recorded Straka arguing with the flight crew:
"Sir, are you wishing not to wear a mask today?" a flight attendant asked Straka
"I would prefer not to," Straka replied before later adding, "You're asking me to do something that's not a law."
The flight attendant responded by explaining that the request is part of a "procedure American Airlines follows."
There is currently no law that mandates passengers must wear masks while on a flight, but all major U.S. airlines, including American, announced on May 11 new policies that call on all passengers and flight crew members to wear face coverings. Exceptions are provided for children, people with certain medical conditions and while passengers are eating and drinking.
Straka told the flight attendant he had a medical condition, but did not specify what the condition was and did not provide any documentation regarding it. He was eventually ejected from the flight after a delay, drawing applause from passengers.
Flight Attendant: Excuse me, sir, do you have a condition that prevents you from wearing a mask?
Flight Attendant: May I ask what that is?
— Brandon Straka (@BrandonStraka) June 17, 2020
Straka's attitude could help explain this:
I made a chart. On average, blue states have seen steadily declining coronavirus infections since mid-April. On average, red states have… not. pic.twitter.com/6AuYriU3Ek
— Timothy B. Lee (@binarybits) June 17, 2020