He is being applauded for following the latest WHO guidelines that advise people to still wear masks in crowded and poorly-ventilated areas.
As Covid-19 restrictions have eased in most parts of the world, people seldom use face masks. The most recent WHO recommendations, however, say that when people are in enclosed or inadequately ventilated places, they should wear a mask. Most people are not following this except senator Bernie Sanders. There were 535 elected lawmakers present for US President Joe Biden's annual State of the Union Address (SOTU), which he gave on Wednesday. The eagerly anticipated ceremony took place within the House of Representatives chamber, per Indian Express.
Strangely, a lot of people noticed that Senator Bernie Sanders was the only one in the packed area wearing a mask and taking care of COVID protocols. Only 81-year-old Sanders was visible in a mask throughout the speech, so Eric Feigl-Ding, an American public health specialist and epidemiologist, posted a video of unmasked dignitaries meeting one another. Feigl-Ding wrote alongside the video, "Bernie Sanders is the only person wearing a KN95 mask at the #StateOfTheUnionAddress. Respect that man."
Replying to this a Twitter user @senorhettler wrote, "I met with a few office staff asking them to pass along an N95 to their boss to wear tonight. Bernie was one of the few who already had good masks and didn’t need them." Others took to the comment section to praise Sanders for his sensitivity towards COVID-19 as others present in the Senate did not. He has previously done several things that have touched the hearts of people across the world.
I met with a few office staff asking them to pass along an N95 to their boss to wear tonight.— Wear a mask. (@senorhettler) February 8, 2023
Bernie was one of the few who already had good masks and didn’t need them.#MaskUpCongress https://t.co/gF7JSU2BAo
It's not the first time, Bernie Sanders has unwittingly stood out in a crowd of lawmakers. In 2021, a picture of Vermont's independent senator Bernie Sanders went viral online, inspiring countless photoshopped memes on social media. Sanders is shown in the photo wearing big mittens and a functional brown coat while sitting socially distant on a folding chair with his legs and arms crossed. This image of the former Democratic presidential candidate has been moved around in time and space and appeared in historical events, motion pictures, well-known artworks and more. The said picture of Sanders was taken by Washington-based photojournalist Brendan Smialowski, who covers politics for the news agency Agence France-Presse.
“This could’ve been an email” pic.twitter.com/kn68z6eDhY— Ashley K. (@AshleyKSmalls) January 20, 2021
Smialowski told CNBC, "That picture is really not that great. It’s not the nicest composition in the world." He said, "I saw Sen. Sanders out of my other eye kind of fiddling with his gloves. It was just a nice moment when he crossed his legs and crossed his arms. I threw the camera over to him." The image spread swiftly online, accompanied by amusing remarks that were then copied and pasted into other variants. Penn State doctoral candidate Ashley Smalls posted the image to Twitter with the caption, "This could've been an email." As of Saturday morning, her post has 139,700 retweets and more than 1.1 million likes. Smalls told CNBC, "When I saw Bernie’s photo, he just reminded me of myself in the back of a meeting, waiting for it to be over. Most of the comments were people saying ‘this is me’ or ‘mood,’ and I’m happy we all relate."