On Thursday, as part of his new announcement of federal vaccine mandates, President Joe Biden took particular aim at COVID deniers attacking flight attendants for enforcing mask mandates, ordering the Federal Aviation Administration to double fines for unruly passengers — and demanding people “show some respect” for flight crews.

This remark provoked an angry reaction from Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro, a former judge in New York and firebrand right-wing commentator.

“He’s going after Abbott and DeSantis, and then he’s saying… you know what, show some respect for the flight attendants,” said Pirro. “Maybe some of the flight attendants ought to show some respect to us, okay? If you’re trying to feed a two-year-old yogurt without a mask on and they decide to throw the mother off, I mean I could go on and on about the absurdity of people who don’t have power, who are suddenly engaged and have power, and then they abuse it.”

Unruly passenger incidents have spiked during the pandemic as anti-maskers lash out and threaten flight crews. In one recent viral video, an apparently intoxicated passenger on an American Airlines flight to Salt Lake City gnawed on his mask and growled at flight attendants like an animal. In August, the FAA issued $500,000 in fines against a number of passengers for similar incidents.

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