Politico’s co-congressional bureau chief berated a group of maskless Capitol tourists who turned out to be the family of fallen Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, who lost her life during President Joe Biden’s failed Afghanistan withdrawal.
“Masks requirement in the House. Tours not allowed. Yet here we are — group of 9, only 2 in masks,” Politico’s Heather Caygle tweeted with a photo of the group in the wide-open Capitol on Thursday.
Masks requirement in the House
Tours not allowed
Yet here we are — group of 9, only 2 in masks pic.twitter.com/zsdwCoFPSG
— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) September 30, 2021
“Instead of immediately being a tattletale, maybe ask some questions first. If you did, you would learn that this is the family of fallen Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, getting a tour from their Congressman Tom McClintock,” replied one Twitter user, Steven D. Smith, urging her to consider deleting the tweet.
Instead of admitting her insensitivity and removing the post, however, the bureau chief doubled down on her Karen-style mask shaming.
“How does that exempt them from wearing a mask?” she fired back.
Politico’s congressional reporter Katherine Tully-McManus also jumped in to lament the fact that Capitol Police can’t also be mask police when it comes to members of Congress and their escorted constituents — only then to later add the “clarification” that this was in fact Gee’s family, but no apology.
Big addendum/clarification on this instance: @GOPLeader’s office says this tour, led by @RepMcClintock was the family of fallen Marine Sgt. Gee. and they were in the Capitol for an official meeting with McCarthy.
Thanks @michelepexner for the info.
— K Tully-McManus (@ktullymcmanus) September 30, 2021
Rep. Tom McClintock’s office confirmed to The Federalist that the group in the photo is the congressman with Gee’s family. In response to a request for comment, Rep. McClintock simply noted “Res ipsa loquitur,” a legal phrase that translates to “the thing speaks for itself.”
Gee, who was only 23 years old, had been assigned to aid in evacuation efforts in Kabul, specifically with civilian women and children as they fled the Taliban takeover. On Aug. 20, Gee posted on Instagram a photo of herself cradling an infant in her arms with the caption, “I love my job.” She was killed just six days later when ISIS-K bombed the Kabul airport.
“How her last breath was taken doing what she loved—helping people—at HKIA in Afghanistan,” fellow Marine and Gee’s roommate Sgt. Mallory Harrison wrote in a Facebook post. “Then there was an explosion. And just like that, she’s gone.”
Families of the fallen service members have reported multiple instances of feeling deeply disrespected in the wake of the tragic deaths.
Family members of the late Rylee McCollum, a 20-year-old Marine lance corporal, blamed President Joe Biden for his death with everyone but his wife, Jiennah Crayton, walking out of a meeting with the president in protest, while Crayton reportedly felt “disappointed” by how the meeting went.
“It struck the family as scripted and shallow, a conversation that lasted only a couple of minutes” according to the Washington Post, with what one of Rylee’s sisters called “total disregard to the loss of our Marine.”
The fathers of two of the fallen Marines also reported feeling disrespected by the president when they said he repeatedly checked his watch during the “dignified transfer” of their remains ar Dover Air Force Base.
“In reference to the checking of his watch, that didn’t happen just once. That happened on every single one that came out of that airplane. It happened on every single one of them. They’d release the salute, and he’d look down at his watch — on all 13 he’d look down at his watch,” Darin Hoover, the father of Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover, told Fox News’s Sean Hannity.