Mitch McConnell took to Twitter to share a picture of himself getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but those who scrolled a little too quickly through their feed may have seen something very different.
The Senate majority leader took to social media on Friday to share an image of himself wearing a mask and standing beside a white-coated physician handing him a small card denoting that he had received the vaccine. But the doctor had some unfortunate placement, standing in front of a large white flag that came to a point at the top. Combined with the doctor’s white coat, it looked to many like McConnell was posing next to a member of the Ku Klux Klan in a full, pointed-hat uniform.
Many re-shared the image, saying it looked odd to them at a quick first glance.
i had to do a double take on this photo https://t.co/j51q5w0jmk
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 18, 2020
“Oh my word. You might want to rethink that photo and the positioning of the white flag. At first glance I thought you were getting vaccinated by a member of the Klan,” one person tweeted.
Some opponents took it as a chance to make a dig at McConnell.
“For a second there I thought you were standing next to a Klansman, that would have been more fitting for you,” tweeted David Weissman, a member of Project Lincoln, the group of Republicans and conservatives opposed to President Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent, McConnell.
Many compared it to a very real picture of McConnell posing in front of a Confederate flag earlier in his political career. As The Inquisitr noted, critics have resurfaced the picture a number of times, including back in 2019 as a defense of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam after images surfaced showing Northam in blackface. Many on the right called for him to resign amid the scandal, but defenders pointed out that this meant that McConnell should be forced to resign as well.
Others shared the image back in 2015 amid a debate on public display of Confederate flags following the mass shooting at a Charleston church perpetrated by Dylann Roof, who had displayed one of the flags in his room at home.
Friday’s post attracted some other strong feelings. Some left comments channeling anger toward McConnell, saying he should not have been able to receive the vaccine at a time when it is in short supply and prioritized for front-line health care workers. Some faulted him for staying in full support of Trump, who they accused of making the pandemic worse by failing to take proper precautions.