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A politician was left red-faced when his younger travel companion showed up on camera in a skimpy swimming costume during his Zoom meeting.
Dr Matthew Heinz, who works in a Tucson area hospital in the US, attended the Pima County meeting with other members from Board of Supervisors while he was on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.
Video available on public domain shows Dr Heinz tidying his desk in his cabin as other supervisors took turns to answer questions in the town hall.
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A 24-year-old man, who wore a black Speedo-like swim brief, walked into the background and put on a vest without realising Dr Heinz was on a call.
The physician looked up the camera and quickly turned it off.
He later explained in an interview with The Advocate, saying he is "on a 10-day Ritz Carlton cruise with a travel companion, a friend".
"He's 24. He's clearly an adult, and we're good friends who travel well together," he continued.
"We are not dating. We are not boyfriends. We’re not engaged. We’re not married."
His friend was out on the balcony before he made the unexpected cameo appearance.
Dr Heinz asked Twitter viewers to "leave my friend alone" and stop making accusations.
"He was in a swimsuit. He accidentally walked into the frame for like not even three seconds, was not naked, is clearly an adult, and is not a sex worker — not that there’s anything wrong with that," he added.
He reiterated his contribution to the board and explained why he had to join the meeting remotely.
"Throughout the pandemic, I have balanced my work as a hospital physician, my public service on the Board of Supervisors and caring for my aging father in Michigan," his Twitter post read.
"That has required me to participate in a number of Board meetings remotely.
"And even now that I am on a vacation, after working the night shift at my hospital over the holidays, I continue to take my commitment to constituents seriously."
In 2008, the physician made history by becoming the first openly gay member of Arizona's House of Representatives and served two terms in the house.
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