You see, apparently Governor Ricketts was at an Omaha sports bar, but there were several instances where he didn’t have his mask on. In this day and age of COVID-19 precautions, that’s a big no-no. Well, Katrina Montanez is (actually was, but we’ll get to that) a server at the bar and grill, and she posted a video showing the governor not wearing his mask. After Montanez posted the video on Snapchat on November 3rd, her boss called her a few hours later to tell her that she was being fired.
Montanez spoke to USA TODAY regarding the issue: “Yes, it did cost me my job, but I could easily have saved a lot of people’s lives, and so I don’t think I was in the wrong for posting this video. Soon after I posted this on Snapchat, the governor had to go to quarantine. This means that my gut feeling was right in every sense that evening.”
Montanez’s video shows Ricketts with a group of ten people, and one one of them is wearing a mask. At one point, Governor Ricketts was even holding a baby!
“Hey Pete, where’s that mask of yours? Where’s your mask at Pete? Just what are you doing, Pete? We’re in a pandemic, Pete?” Montanez is heard saying in the video.
According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the governor had been attending an election party for incoming senator Rita Sanders. Seven days after he attended the party, there was a statement from Ricketts’ office that announced that the governor and his wife were being forced into quarantine because they had been closely associated with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.
One of the main reasons why Montanez started filming was because she was upset at how Governor Ricketts was “walking around the whole entire building and acting like a celebrity. Meanwhile, there are literally people throughout the city that are dying and fighting for their lives.”
“I was just wanting to show the people by saying, ‘Hey guys, take a good long hard look at our governor, and how he doesn’t want to put a mask mandate in our state. Also, take a good long look at how he’s acting during this pandemic, and how he’s acting while nurses are just about begging him for everything and anything they can because they are burnt out and exhausted.”
As the director of strategic communications for Governor Ricketts, Taylor Gage knows that he has an important job. Thus, he did some damage control by explaining this incident, saying that the governor had indeed been wearing a mask when he entered the building, but he did take it off in order to associate with others and have pictures taken. “That is his normal custom, and that is what he did that evening,” Gage said.
However, the now-ousted waitress feels vindicated simply because the governor did indeed come into contact with someone that had the virus and both he and his wife were forced into quarantine. Still, Ricketts continues to be against the mask mandate that governors in other states are enforcing.
“They create resistance,” Governor Ricketts said during his quarantine. “They are only a tool, and they are not the only tool. We shouldn’t think for a minute that a mask is going to be a panacea to solve all of our COVID problems.”
To his credit, Governor Ricketts has encouraged people to wear masks indoors and when there are times where social distancing would be difficult.
Montanez is now looking for a new job because she is a single mother to a 4-year-old daughter. She said that she has been offered a bit of support on Twitter and there were some who even called her a “hero.”
What do you think about this story?