Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg revealed his two children on Saturday with his husband, though congratulatory messages were accompanied by many questioning the photo-op moment.
Buttigieg, once widely known as ‘Mayor Pete’ for his time as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, posted an image of himself and his husband, Chasten, sitting in a hospital bed and holding their two children, Penelope and Joseph.
Chasten and I are beyond thankful for all the kind wishes since first sharing the news that we’re becoming parents. We are delighted to welcome Penelope Rose and Joseph August Buttigieg to our family. pic.twitter.com/kS89gb11Ax— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) September 4, 2021
The former mayor had announced last month that he and his husband had welcomed two children, born through surrogacy.
The Democrat was inundated with messages of congratulations from supporters who marveled over the Labor Day weekend photo.
I volunteer to babysit. I'm very good with tiny babies 😎 Wishing you every happiness with your beautiful family.— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) September 4, 2021
This is exactly why we must fight for equality and our rights. I see a lot of people making fun of them for a variety of reasons, not okay.Congratulations, Chasten and Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Penelope is a beautiful name.❤️ https://t.co/iKkR5fY9L5— Raleigh Bowman 🏳️🌈 (@RaleighBowman) September 4, 2021
Others were quicker to question the moment and call it out as a set-up photo-op moment meant to give some positive press to the Democrat and the administration, still facing criticism over the chaotic Afghanistan exit. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and other Democrats even shared the Buttigieg photo as needed “good news.”
Why are Pete Buttigieg and his husband in a hospital bed as if one of them gave birth? Congrats to them and everything but I do not get the pic. https://t.co/8SpWQ70pX8— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) September 4, 2021
Others also questioned how the photo-op moment would happen in a hospital during a pandemic as Covid-19 cases are on the rise, which numerous health officials have warned will continue to happen in the coming months due to the Delta variant and lagging vaccination rates.
“Hospitals are short on beds because of COVID, and Pete Buttigieg is taking a photo op in a hospital bed,” conservative author Brigitte Gabriel tweeted.
The hospitals are so full but glad they had time for these two men to have a photo-op with children they did not birth.— Lavern Spicer (@lavern_spicer) September 4, 2021
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