West Virginia U. President Gordon Gee Requires Students to Wear Masks – but Doesn’t Wear One Himself

“Love seeing Gordon Gee out with no mask on,” wrote one Twitter user alongside several eye-roll emojis. The tweet included photos of the university president browsing the aisles of local CVS with a mask in hand, rather than on his face.

Last month, the university published a “Welcome Home” video which featured President Gee addressing students who would be returning to campus for the fall semester. In the video, the university president implored students to “wear a mask.”

“We take the responsibility of safety very seriously, and will do all we can to keep you healthy, but part of that responsibility also falls on you,” said Gee in the video. “Remember that protocols that have been repeated over the past few months. Wash your hands, practice social distancing, and wear a mask.”

“As a matter a fact, I’m starting to accumulate as many masks as I have bow ties, and I’m counting on you to follow the guidelines to keep this 76-year-old healthy so we can safely resume selfies in the near future,” he added.

In July, Gee took to Twitter to concur with the West Virginia governor Jim Justice’s mask mandate in the response to the Wuhan coronavirus.

“I appreciate Governor Justice’s continued effort to keep West Virginians as safe as possible from COVID-19,” wrote Gee. “The mask mandate is the right thing for West Virginia.”

After being exposed for not following his own advice regarding masks, Gee issued an apology on Twitter, stating, “Earlier I was shopping and did not keep my mask on for the entirety of my time in the store.”

“As president, I must hold myself to the highest of standards and set the very best example for our University,” he added. “In this instance, I did not do that.”

“As I have asked you to do the right things, so must you expect me to do the same,” Gee continued. “I apologize for the error in judgment and commit that it will not happen again.”

Not everyone, however, appeared to accept Gee’s apology, as many reacted by pointing out the university president’s apparent hypocrisy, mentioning students who have been suspended for not wearing masks.

“All of the kids that were suspended should be reinstated immediately,” wrote one Twitter user in response to Gee’s apology tweet.

“nope! you should be treated the same way you treated the multiple students you have sent home,” said another. “punished the maximum extent. forcing students to go home AND unenrolling them from their classes, considering this is how you behave is a JOKE.”

“Are u giving the students you suspended a second chance?” asked another Twitter user.

“When are we getting refunded for on campus things that we pay for but aren’t being used??” inquired another.

“I just find it hilarious that after everything you tweet about COVID and how we need to take it seriously, you do this?” commented another individual.

“Where’s your suspension?” asked another.

“Rules for thee but not for Gee,” quipped another individual.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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