Maskless Obama under fire over elitism
Former US President Barack Obama is among a number of Democrats facing public outrage and accusations of elitism. Pictures published by The Mail on Sunday showed Obama speaking with contractors and construction workers at his $8.7 million Hawaii property. Unlike him, the workers are all sporting face coverings in the photos.
Stacey Abrams, a former state representative who has announced she will soon make another run for governor, has also faced public backlash over a photo in which she sits among a group of masked students without wearing a face covering herself.
The photo, taken at Glennwood Elementary School near Atlanta, was posted by the school’s principal and later quote tweeted by Abrams, who called the visit “spectacular, delightful, and outstanding.”
This is a photo of a maskless Obama today in Hawaii inspecting the construction of his oceanfront mansion while all the blue-collar, working-class construction laborers are FORCED to wear masks in his presence.PLEASE DO NOT share this photo.Obama would not like it AT ALL. pic.twitter.com/rpGMSqkAaa— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 7, 2022
The quote tweet and the original photos now appear to have been deleted, though screenshots have continued to cause uproar on social media.
Abrams was maskless at the school despite the Decatur City Commission reinstating a mask mandate the month prior. Abrams is also a supporter of mask mandates, even recently criticizing Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, for trying to block local ones.
“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,” Kemp tweeted in reaction to the Abrams photos.
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
Abrams’ campaign responded to the controversy with a statement calling the criticism of the Democrat “shameful.”
“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.
Speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, her campaign team said she had worn a mask to the event, but they admitted that Abrams actually required the students to be masked in order to take the photos, sparking more criticism.
According to a posting on Monday by Daybook, Abrams’ campaign is currently looking for a social media manager.
Other Democrats to receive backlash from masking critics as mandates across the country have become more sporadic – especially in Republican-leaning states like Florida and Texas – have been California Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, all of whom were pictured without masks at an NFL game last month.
California has some of the strictest masking mandates in its counties. Garcetti, whose city still has a face covering mandate, defended his own maskless moments by later claiming he held his breath when his mouth was exposed to the elements.