In case Josh Mandel hasn't noticed... we're still in the middle of a global pandemic.
That's what prompted social media users to criticize Mandel, a Republican vying for a Senate seat in Ohio, particularly after he praised a waitress for coming into work despite being sick.
It all started when Mandel posed with Brianne, a waitress at Inside the Five Brewing Co. in Perrysburg, and posted about their encounter on Twitter.
"@InsideTheFive is a cool brewery started by two NFL vets. Great food and spirited waitresses!"
"Even though Brianne was sick today, she came to work because she knew they were short servers."
"These are the type of American workers that make our country strong."
There were two major problems with Mandel's post.
The first: The United States is still grappling with a global pandemic that has intensified as a result of the highly contagious Delta variant.
The second: Why was he praising someone for coming into work while sick, given all the above?
Mandel was soon derided by social media users.
And at a time when many service workers have criticized the industry for prioritizing work over safety—including before the Covid-19 pandemic—nobody else was cheering.
The overwhelmingly negative reaction also prompted the brewery to respond to the controversy.
In a statement to local news station WTOL 11, they expressed disappointment with the entire situation as well as concerns for their employees and customers.
"This is so disappointing. Last week we sent a message to our staff saying that they should report any symptoms, big or small, to a manager, and not come to work."
"And no one should just assume it's allergies or a cold. Although our server's intentions were good, it was not the right decision and it will be addressed."
The brewery noted Brianne, the waitress Mandel praised, was sent home.
"Yes, we are short-staffed, but would close our doors before we put anyone at risk. The employee has since been sent home."
The statement from the brewery didn't go over well with Mandel, who doubled down despite the criticism.
In a follow-up tweet, Mandel accused the brewery's owners of "giving into the woke mob."
"Hey @InsideTheFive, instead of giving into the woke mob, how bout having your employee's back and giving her a raise."
"While so many people are getting paid to sit home and do nothing, Brianne muscled through feeling under the weather and came to WORK."
The company later deleted its Twitter account following online backlash.
Speaking to WTVG in Toledo, Inside The Five co-owner Chris Morris criticized Mandel for inciting the criticism.
"Honestly, I had no idea who he was prior to today. Apparently, he took a photo with an employee and posted whatever his political agenda is on his social media."
"It is our policy for employees to inform all management before coming to work. As soon as we found out, we sent our employee home."
"Anytime we're shown in a bad light, it's upsetting to us, but we'll get through this."
Mandel has not issued another response to the controversy.
In a recent interview, he downplayed the severity of the pandemic, referring to vaccines as "immoral" and "unethical."