A now-deleted photo of Stacey Abrams posing maskless with a group of masked schoolchildren sparked backlash against the Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate.
If Democratic politicians had a mantra on masking policies, it might be: “Do as I say, not as I do.”
Abrams on Friday visited Glennwood Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, where she spoke about her new children’s book and took part in the school’s Black History Month event.
Have a feeling this photo—which Abrams promoted on her own account—of her appearing maskless surrounded by kids in masks is gonna be in a lot of ads this fall. pic.twitter.com/gYtDOMGTeK
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) February 6, 2022
Later Friday, Abrams retweeted the photo of herself grinning barefaced among the unmasked students after it was posted by Glennwood’s principal, Holly Brookins.
- Amid outraged from the right, and even some liberal journalists, Abrams and Brookins deleted their tweets.
- Brookins’ Twitter account was apparently deactivated, CNN reported.
Conservatives on social media accused Abrams of hypocrisy and surfaced numerous examples of her fellow Democrats appearing to flout mask rules.
UNMASK OUR CHILDREN pic.twitter.com/JKHKmSx9V8
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) February 7, 2022
Abrams’ Republican opponents in the Georgia governor’s race also piled on.
- “Stacey Abrams wants state government mask mandates for Georgians and their children,” Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican running for reelection, tweeted. “But it looks like they wouldn’t apply when she’s attending a photo op.”
- “Liberals’ thirst for power during this pandemic has caused enormous damage to our kids, while the elite like Stacey continue living their lives,” David Perdue, the former senator who is challenging Kemp in the GOP primary, tweeted.
- “What is even worse is that this is a classroom in Brian Kemp’s GA, not NY or CA.”
The Abrams campaign told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she removed her mask for photos and so students watching the event remotely could hear her.
- The campaign also said Abrams first made sure everyone around her was masked.
- In a statement Sunday, the campaign fired back at Abrams’ GOP rivals, accusing them of “using a Black History Month reading event for Georgia children as the impetus for a false political attack.
- “This pathetic, transparent and silly attack is beneath anyone who claims he wants to lead Georgia,” the campaign wrote.
According to the Journal-Constitution, Kemp is planning on using the photo of Abrams in an upcoming TV ad.