Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams apologized after appearing without a mask for a photo opportunity last week in front of a classroom full of masked students.

“I took a picture and that was the mistake,” Abrams said on CNN Tuesday. “Protocols matter and protecting our kids is the most important thing and anything that can be perceived as undermining. That is a mistake and I apologize.”

Abrams claimed she only took the mask off to read a book to the children, and that everyone in Georgia should still be wearing masks.

“COVID hygiene is going to be a point of debate for a very long time and we can only follow the science and follow our circumstances,” she said. “Unfortunately, in Georgia, we’re not at a place where that conversation is ready because we have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.”

“My responsibility, if I am lucky enough to be the next governor of Georgia, is to look at the science, to follow the protocols, and to set the right example,” she continued. “And right now, that example is that we wear masks whenever possible but we recognize that we can’t be a hardline about this because situations change and we have different moments where we have to make decisions.”

Abrams was crushed on social media after the photo opportunity and after her apology.

“Protecting our kids means ENDING school mask mandates. Abrams’ big takeaway from her giant fiasco is to make Georgia schoolchildren mask more and longer – further eroding their social, emotional, cognitive and linguistic development? This is elevating masks to a religious symbol,” Stephen Miller, former advisor to President Donald Trump, said Wednesday on Twitter.

“Hypocrite. Protocols matter but also let’s not be hardliners & also she explained (to kids!) why she would be maskless (so they would understand her better, novel!) Actually important: as governor Abrams says she would not lift mask mandate in schools. Vote accordingly, Georgia,” columnist Karol Markowicz said Tuesday.

Abrams joins many other Democrats who have defied mask rules and their own public statements calling for Americans to continue wearing masks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Included in that list are Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and Washington, D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser, all of whom have been called out for their hypocrisy:

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Abrams maskless” by Eric Heck.