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The Problem With the Met Gala Wasn't AOC's Dress, It Was Pandemic Hypocrisy

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Robby Soave | 9.15.2021 3:00 PM

On Monday, the annual Met Gala brought celebrities, athletes, and politicians to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for a fancy fundraiser. This year, much attention was paid to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.), who wore a dress with the message "tax the rich" written on it.

The irony of AOC demanding higher taxes on the rich while partying with them at a celebrity-filled extravaganza that costs $30,000 a ticket wasn't lost on anyone; the congresswoman addressed the criticism by noting that it was her responsibility as a New York City official to help keep "cultural institutions open to the public," and the fundraiser helps pay for the museum.

AOC's right that the discord between the message on her dress and her attendance at the event shouldn't be making people upset. That's because the real issue here isn't inconsistency on wealth inequality—it's rank hypocrisy on pandemic restrictions.

In photos from the event, neither AOC nor any of the other famous invitees—Megan Rapinoe, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D–N.Y.), Dan Levy, and on and on—wear masks. (The same cannot be said of the staff members attending to the celebrities' needs.) Why do the rich and famous get a pass?

For what it's worth, the museum's policy couldn't be clearer: All visitors ages two years and older are required to wear masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status. They are also expected to maintain six feet of distance from other people at all times. AOC said she was working to keep the museum open to the public, but when the public visits the museum, they are obligated to follow irritating and (in the case of masks for the vaccinated) largely pointless procedures. Yet the city's elite are exempted from such........

© Reason.com

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