Rubio pointed to the media scolding of President Trump and his supporters for holding rallies this summer during the pandemic, following the silence over the crowded victory celebrations for President-elect Joe Biden.
"When people took to the streets dancing, tightly-packed crowds celebrating because of [Biden's election win,] nobody said a word, and it's the same with the stuff now," Rubio said. "We've got these people that own a business that put their whole life's work into it, and you got some guy behind a Zoom camera on television who gets paid to work from home, lecturing them about how they need to close their business, and not work and not employ people until they tell them it's OK to do it, so it's an enormous amount of hypocrisy and people are tired of it."
Rubio also highlighted the oft-criticized coronavirus response in his home state of Republican-run Florida, versus the widely praised handling of the pandemic in Democratic-run New York. In spite of his state leading the nation in deaths and cases, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, received a daytime Emmy for his daily press conferences about the pandemic, which Rubio called "stupid."
"Governor [Ron] Desantis in the state of Florida is often characterized in the legacy media as some sort of COVID disaster but New York has less people than Florida, more cases, more deaths, and nonetheless their governor wins an Emmy because of his press conferences," Rubio said. "I mean this is stupid and the kind of hypocrisy, again, people see this stuff and they realize it."
Democrats have also come under fire across the country for flouting coronavirus restrictions they have imposed.
Recent examples include Austin mayor Steve Adler recording a video urging citizens of the Texas capital to stay home while he vacationed in Mexico, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock visiting family in Mississippi after advising Coloradans to hold "virtual gatherings."
They joined a growing list of officials in New York and California who have been caught ignoring their own COVID policies by eating at restaurants, going to parties or traveling. They include California Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed.