A Democrat who wants to be Georgia’s next governor briefly did not cover her nose and mouth on Feb. 4.
Stacey Abrams was caught not wearing a face mask during a visit to Glennwood Elementary School in Decatur, about 7 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.
A photo, which has since gone viral on the internet, shows Abrams sitting in a classroom filled with 41 students. Teachers and children are all wearing masks, but the gubernatorial candidate does not wear one despite a school-wide mask mandate.
Incumbent GOP Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp seized on his rival’s failure to comply with coronavirus restrictions.
“Stacey Abrams wants state government mask mandates for Georgians and their children but it looks like they would not apply when she is attending a photo opportunity,” he said on Twitter.
Stacey Abrams wants state government mask mandates for Georgians and their children.
But it looks like they wouldn’t apply when she’s attending a photo op. https://t.co/A7H8U6eXKS
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) February 6, 2022
One of former President Donald Trump’s senior advisers also expressed dissatisfaction with the photo.
“In so many ways, this picture embodies the elitism, arrogance, cruelty, science denial, and glib authoritarianism of Joe Biden’s Democrat Party,” Stephen Miller said on Twitter.
In so many ways, this picture embodies the elitism, arrogance, cruelty, science denial, and glib authoritarianism of Joe Biden’s Democrat Party. https://t.co/hUkLNBKa1I
— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) February 6, 2022
Political commentator Clay Travis expressed broader concerns about the rising number of left-leaning leaders who fail to comply with mandates.
“The number of left-wing politicians who post photos posing without masks, while all the kids around them are wearing masks, is stunning,” he said on Twitter. “Here is Stacey Abrams doing it–this is child abuse.”
School principal Holly Brookins posted the original photo on Feb. 6. The image had already been removed at publication, and Brookins’s Twitter account was inactive. However, it did not stop other social media users from reposting the image themselves to keep expressing outrage.
Abrams did not apologize and claimed she was disappointed to see so many people divert attention away from the good work of African Americans across the nation.
“It is shameful that our opponents are using a Black History Month reading event for Georgia children as the impetus for a false political attack, and it is pitiful and predictable that our opponents continue to look for opportunities to distract from their failed records when it comes to protecting public health during the pandemic,” her campaign team said on Instagram.
“This pathetic, transparent and silly attack is beneath anyone who claims he wants to lead Georgia,” she added.