Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams addresses supporters at an election watch party on November 6, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jessica McGowan/Getty Images
Stacey Abrams faced backlash Sunday for appearing in a photo maskless with dozens of masked children.
Abrams pushed back in a statement Sunday and called the attacks “pathetic, transparent, and silly.”
The Georgia candidate for governor shared and later deleted the photo from her visit to an Atlanta elementary school.
Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams pushed back at critics on Sunday after she recieved backlash for a photo that showed her maskless among a group of masked children during a visit to an Atlanta-area elementary school.
“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,” Abrams wrote in a statement shared on her Instagram account on Sunday.
As Fox News reported, Abrams, a Democrat who also ran for governor in 2018, visited Glennwood Elementary School in Decatur last week as part of its annual African American read-in. The school’s principal shared several photos on Twitter of Abrams during the visit, which showed her maskless while dozens of children in the photo wore masks.
Masks are required in the city as a result of an ordinance from the Decatur City Commission, which was reinstated in January, per Fox News. According to the ordinance, children under the age of 10 are not required to wear a face mask.
Abrams shared one of the photos on her own account but appeared to later delete the tweet. The school principal’s Twitter account was no longer available as of Sunday.
The photo drew backlash from conservatives, who said Abrams showed hypocrisy.
—Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) February 6, 2022
“Stacey Abrams wants state government mask mandates for Georgians and their children,” said Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican vying for reelection. “But it looks like they wouldn’t apply when she’s attending a photo op.”
Abrams’ statement on Sunday said one of her opponents had “downplayed the virus while trading stock to profit off the pandemic after his private coronavirus briefings as senator,” a reference to former GOP Georgia Sen. David Perdue, who is running in the Republican party’s primary.
Perdue joined in on the criticism, tweeting: “Liberals’ thirst for power during this pandemic has caused enormous damage to our kids, while the elite like Stacey continue living their lives.”
Abrams has previously encouraged others to wear face masks. In a September 2021 tweet she said: “Wear masks. Get vaccinated. Support healthcare workers w/more than rhetoric. Do right.”
“This pathetic, transparent, and silly attack is beneath anyone who claims he wants to lead Georgia,” Abrams’s Sunday statement concluded.
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