The gathering was not only in violation of Maryland's Stay at Home order, but the Pentagon had explicitly directed the public to watch the jets from their homes, and not to travel to the hospitals where pilots would fly over to thank healthcare professionals - not elected officials from Montgomery County. Councilmember Andrew Friedson was also in attendance, but said in a Facebook post that he remained on the other side of the hospital away from the crowd.
|The Pentagon's official announcement explicitly told|
the public to stay home, and "refrain from traveling
to see the flyover." (Photo: Chip Py/Facebook)
According to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's March 30 Stay at Home order, "no Maryland resident should leave their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes." In issuing his order, Hogan said, "This is a deadly public health crisis—we are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home, we are directing them to do so. No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention, or for other necessary purposes."
The Pentagon's own statement directed the public to "observe the flyover from the safety of their home quarantine...refrain from traveling to see the flyover. Stay home!"
The Councilmen put the health and lives of their constituents at risk by illegally traveling for starters, and then joining in an illegal gathering, despite being warned by Maryland and federal officials not to do so. Had police on the scene enforced Hogan's directive, Glass and Friedson could have faced "imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both," according to the text of the Stay-at-Home order.
Beyond the serious health and safety implications, there was the attempt to hijack a moment recognizing health heroes at Suburban Hospital for political gain by the Council. This was the doctors' and nurses' moment, not the Council's.
Interestingly but predictably, no local media reports pointed out the councilmen had broken the law by traveling to and attending the flyover gathering. The Montgomery County cartel's control of the local press again proves beneficial to elected officials convinced our laws don't apply to them. I must admit, the flyover wasn't anywhere close to as exciting for those of us who obeyed state and federal orders to watch from home as it was for our wayfaring County politicians.
Elected officials have to be held to a higher standard. Councilmembers breaking the Stay-at-Home order not only put themselves, Suburban's staff, and all of us at risk, but undermine the spirit of the public to continue to follow Stay-at-Home and social distancing guidelines. Covid-19 cases continued to rise steadily, a number of negative records were set, and Montgomery County went to Blue Alert with critical care beds "mostly filled" on the same weekend the Council crashed the Suburban flyover.
It turns out that having a bursting bag of developer campaign cash, and local media allies eager to amplify your imagined exploits in office, don't necessarily translate into possessing common sense or basic leadership skills.
Heckuva job, Brownie!