Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – known for praising “hockey moms” – received a timely assist this week from a former hockey star, ex-NHL player Ron Duguay.
It happened Wednesday, when a photographer began asking Palin about her recent coronavirus diagnosis while she and Duguay, a former member of the New York Rangers, were dining with friends at a restaurant in New York City.
Palin was in the Big Apple for her defamation trial against The New York Times, which has been delayed until next month because she tested positive for the virus at the beginning of this week.
The unnamed photographer began recording Palin eating dinner with Duguay and three others at Elio’s Italian restaurant in Manhattan. Palin initially turned to the photographer and waved from the outdoor tent where the group was dining.
“Hi there, are any of you guys concerned that she tested positive for COVID? I’m just curious,” the photographer asks.
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Duguay, 64, then gets up and approaches him, asking, “Are you looking for trouble?”
“Are you going to hurt me?” the photographer asks, before Duguay appears to knock his camera out of his hand.
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Palin’s dinner was against federal COVID-19 five-day quarantine guidelines but the restaurant suggested to the New York Post it wasn’t their concern.
“People come to eat, we are not the border police,” an employee reportedly told the publication.
The restaurant said, however, they adhered to the city’s vaccine mandate by seating Palin’s party outside in below-freezing weather (in a tent with a heat lamp). Palin has said she doesn’t plan to ever get vaccinated.
The former GOP vice-presidential candidate did dine inside the same restaurant Saturday, however, despite not showing a required vaccination card, according to the New York Daily News. The city said the restaurant won’t be fined because her admittance wasn’t officially documented.
The photographer told the Daily News he contacted police about the incident and officers confirmed they responded and the issue was resolved. No other details were given.
Elio’s manager Luca Guaitolini told the Daily News: “It’s unfortunate, but we’ve moved on. We’ve been answering all the questions since Wednesday. What can I tell you? We are spaghetti people.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ office had strong words for Palin’s outing, saying in a statement, “By repeatedly flouting CDC guidelines, Ms. Palin has shown a complete disregard for the health and safety of small business workers and her fellow patrons.”
Palin was required to test for the virus Monday in connection with her trial.