The speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives is facing criticism after being spotted unmasked in a crowd.
A photo of House Speaker Lee Chatfield at Tuesday’s Trump rally made its way across social media, sparking outrage from some local doctors.
“He was there, not wearing a mask. Standing next to people who also weren’t. He was grinning ear to ear and having a great time,” said Dr. Farhan Bhatti, with the Committee to Protect Medicare. “How can we expect Michiganders to take this pandemic seriously when Republican officials themselves refuse to take this seriously?”
State Rep. Sheryl Kennedy was also stunned at the sight. She took to Facebook saying, “Geez I hope he quarantines and tests before our next session together.”
“Darn it Speaker Chatfield, put on a mask,” Kennedy said. “He’s in this crowd of people, not wearing masks. They’re outside but they’re very close together. He’s putting himself at risk and we have session next week. After the election, we have session.”
Kennedy said Chatfield usually wears a mask at the capitol. That’s why the photo set off alarm bells. She doesn’t want to see Chatfield or his family getting sick. Especially as Michigan’s COVID-19 numbers continue to rise.
“I’d like to know that when he comes to our workplace next week,” Kennedy said. “I know he’ll wear a mask when he’s back at the capitol. I know he will.”
On Oct. 30, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel commented on the issue.
"It's hard because here when we have our own speaker of the house and our own majority leader of the senate, our state legislature and they're not abiding by very basic, CDC guidelines, they seem pretty disinterested, honestly, in terms of passing legislation and working with the governor to put protocols and legislation in place to contain the spread of the virus, so I'm very concerned," she said.
TV5 reached out to Chatfield for comment, but we have yet to hear back.