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New photos reveal how Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams spent the entirety of her elementary school visit unmasked, despite her team claiming it was only for photos with the students and defending the snaps as being for a Black History Month event.
The Democrat, who visited Glennwood Elementary School in Atlanta on Friday for a Black History Month event, is pictured maskless with students and staff, all of whom are wearing face coverings.
She also does not appear to practice social distancing, except for when she is speaking at the podium or taking questions from young pupils. The students remained masked at the microphone.
Outrage over Abrams’ unmasked visit first sparked over the weekend after she retweeted a picture from the visit that showed her smiling while surrounded by dozens of masked children.
The tweet of Abrams and the students was promptly deleted after the 48-year-old politician was met with backlash from social media users across the country.
Her campaign team made light of the photo and subsequently hit out against her critics in a scathing Instagram post, while also going on the offensive and attacking the reputations of her opponents.
‘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,’ the statement read.
‘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 manager, Lauren Groh-Wargo, had tweeted that Abrams took off her mask ‘so she could be heard by students watching remotely and for photos.’
Outkick first shared the additional photos of Abrams.
Stacey Abrams visited Glennwood Elementary School in Atlanta on Friday for a Black History Month event. She was maskless the entirety of her visit
Abrams is pictured with school staff members, all of whom are wearing masks
Abrams is pictured speaking to a room fully of masked elementary school students
Abrams is pictured unmasked with Glennwood Elementary School students
Abrams, who has been branded a ‘mask fascist’ on Twitter, is the just one of several Democrats to be slammed as a hypocrite after seemingly ignoring her own demand for mask mandates.
In fact, Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan was compared to Abrams on Monday after she shared an unmasked selfie taken at a weekend campaign event, while her audience, several feet behind, all had their faces covered up.
It also comes as frustrated parents and students are rallying against school mask mandates after nearly two years of abiding by pandemic restrictions that they allege haven’t protected them from the virus.
‘One of Stacey’s opponents downplayed the virus while trading stock to profit off the pandemic after his private coronavirus briefings as a Senator,’ the statement continued.
‘Another of her opponents attacked mayors seeking to protect their citizens and has failed to expand access to Medicaid even as rural hospitals close. This pathetic, transparent and silly attack is beneath anyone who claims he wants to lead Georgia.’
Outrage over Abrams’ unmasked visit first sparked over the weekend after she retweeted a picture from the visit that showed her smiling while surrounded by dozens of masked children. The above photo has since been deleted from Twitter
Abrams speaks to students and staff at Glennwood Elementary School
Her campaign team made light of the photo and subsequently hit out against her critics in a scathing Instagram post, while also going on the offensive and attacking the reputations of her opponents
In Georgia, mask use is recommended both indoors and in public. Last summer, Gov. Brian Kemp attempted to block local mask mandates. After easing his order in the fall, cities such as Atlanta, Savannah, Macon and Athens have reinstated citywide mandates.
Republican rival Kemp took to Twitter Sunday to condemn Abrams as he prepares for a likely showdown with the progressive politico in the fall.
‘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,’ he tweeted.
Outrage over Abrams’ unmasked visit first sparked over the weekend. She was met with criticism from many, including her opponent incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp
The controversy comes on the heels of a series of public outcries against Democratic leaders who have failed to abide by the same draconian COVID-19 guidelines they have preached throughout the pandemic.
Storkin is the latest Democrat to be caught in a compromising unmasked position. The former CIA analyst wore a large grin around her masked up audience.
‘Another successful Snow Boots on the Ground event in Owosso! Thank you to everyone who came out despite the frigid temperatures. (My selfie skills also seem to be improving so my team actually let me post this one!)’ Slotkin wrote on Twitter.
Republicans immediately seized on the images and called her a ‘hypocrite’ for pushing COVID-19 health restrictions while being pictured seemingly flaunting them.
Slotkin is the latest Democrat to be caught in a compromising unmasked position. The former CIA analyst wore a large grin around her masked up audience
‘Another Democrat hypocrite,’ Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote on Twitter while reposting Slotkin’s photo.
Slotkin’s House colleague on the Republican side, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, said ‘Democrats’ mask mandate hypocrisy continues.’
Donald Trump’s former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell commented on the few younger audience members who had to still have their faces covered.
‘Why are the kids masked while you get to breathe normally?’ Grenell questioned on Twitter.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ spokeswoman Christina Pushaw tweeted: ‘Elissa why aren’t you afraid of COVID?’
Conservative activist Scott Presler posted the infamous image that Abrams had since deleted from her own Twitter. ‘I’m noticing a theme,’ he quipped.
Slotkin was compared to Georgia gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams, who was also caught unmasked at an event
Republicans immediately seized on the images and called her a ‘hypocrite’ for pushing COVID-19 health restrictions while being pictured seemingly flaunting them
In early January, New York Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez revealed she had become infected with COVID-19 after she was photographed partying maskless at a Miami drag brunch.
The state’s governor, Kathy Hochul, and Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand have been photographed skirting New York’s mask mandate.
Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and San Francisco Mayor London Breed were spotted breaking their own indoor mask mandate during the NFL Championship Game in LA.
And on January 31, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat of New York, was pictured not wearing a mask when visiting students at New Rochelle High School – despite the state’s mandates that masks must be worn at all times in public schools.
COVID cases are continuing to fall in the US as the country starts to move past the Omicron surge, recording a 43 percent drop in daily infections over the past week
How school mask mandates vary state-by-state
School mask mandates, like other pandemic restrictions, vary by state.
School mask mandates are in effect in California, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.
Last month, Massachusetts extended its mandate through February. It remains unclear if the mandate will be extended again.
New York Gov. Hochul is expected to extend the school mask mandate on February 9. It was set to expire later in the month.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced February 7 that his state’s mandate will be lifted on March 7.
Delaware Gov. John Carney made a similar announcement February 7, saying the state’s school mask mandate will lift March 31. He also said the general statewide indoor masks order will end on February 11.
Connecticut is set to end its statewide mask mandate on February 28.
Maryland, which still has a school mask mandate in effect, now allows local districts to remove masks if 80 percent of students and staff at a single school are fully vaccinated or 80 percent of the district’s community population is fully vaccinated.
If neither of the vaccination thresholds are met, a local district can also choose to lift universal masking when the county or jurisdiction has reached 14 days of moderate or low transmission of COVID-19.
Louisiana and Pennsylvania have lifted their statewide school mandates.
Seven states – Arizona, Florida, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah – currently has legislation in effect banning school mask mandates.
Source: Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities, updated Feb. 8, 2022
The criticism comes amid the push to end mask restrictions after COVID cases continue to fall in the U.S., with the country recording a 43 percent drop in daily infections over the past week, down from 469,770 daily cases a week ago to 267,765 as of Tuesday morning and is expected to fall even further.
‘Angry COVID moms’ are fighting restrictions and the lawmakers who ‘abandoned their responsibility’ to protect America’s children by running for Congress.
‘When you shut down my kids’ schools and impose devastating mental health effects on them – I don’t forgive anyone who did that,’ Maud Maron, who plans to run for office in New York, told Bari Weiss in her Common Sense Substack.
‘This is the year that parents say, “You’re either with us or against us.”‘
Emily Burns, who is running for office in Massachusetts, believes the school boards, teachers’ unions, politicians, medical experts and officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization (WHO) have failed the nation’s children by implementing lockdowns and advisories.
‘I’m determined to talk about what we’ve done these past two years, and the criminally bad public policy,’ she said. ‘I don’t want this to get swept under the rug.’
Connecticut, Delaware and New Jersey made the shift to end statewide school mask mandates as COVID-19 positivity rates continue to decline.
Despite the moves of neighboring states, New York Governor Kathy Hochul is planning to expand the statewide mandate ahead of its scheduled expiration later this month.
New York Department of Health spokeswoman Jill Montag confirmed to the Albany Times Union on Monday that the mask mandate, set to expire on February 21, is ‘expected to be renewed.’
The initial regulation was issued under a 90-day window.
The health department official did not indicate whether the renewal would also be continued for 90 days.
California, like New York, will continue its school mask mandate, although the state did announce Monday it will end its indoor masking requirement for vaccinated people February 15.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s order still requires unvaccinated people to be masked indoors.
The modification also specifies that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, will have to wear masks in higher-risk areas like public transit and nursing homes and other congregate living facilities.
Local governments are allowed to continue their own indoor masking requirements, if they choose.