Democrat leaders in blue states are having trouble following the prime directive of elected politicians: lead by example. While mask mandates are imposed on workers and school children in Democrat-led districts, the very people demanding the enforcement are caught on camera flouting the regulations. Is it a case of double standards, or do they see themselves as above the laws they help craft?
A Real Georgia Peach
Stacey Abrams of Georgia – a once and future hopeful for governor – was photographed at Glenwood Elementary just outside Atlanta unmasked amid a sea of children and teachers, all of whom wore the face-coverings. She initially tweeted this image with the caption “spectacular, delightful, and outstanding” before deleting it when backlash ensued.
Abrams has been a staunch supporter of mask mandates for schools. When questioned on why she was not following the rules, the Abrams campaign deflected and went on the attack. A statement read:
“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.”
How this answers the question of why she was not masked is unclear. When pushed for further clarification, the campaign responded, “We will let our statement speak for itself.”
A spokeswoman for Ms. Abrams, Lauren Groh-Wargo, sought to quell the flames by offering the final word on the matter. She wrote, “Stacey trusts science and supports masking in schools as it’s the current CDC recommendation. She wore a mask to the event, and removed it at the podium so she could be heard by students watching remotely and for photos, but only with folks who were masked.”
And yet the photo in question was not of Abrams at the podium, but rather sitting on the floor surrounded by masked children, and the idea that an unmasked person cannot infect a masked one – or vice versa – has been refuted time and time again by all major medical agencies and by the U.S. president himself.
Republican Governor Brian Kemp responded to the image, tweeting, “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.”
But for Ms. Abrams, it’s not only mask-wearing to which she feels herself immune. Ever since the 2018 gubernatorial election, she has yet to officially concede to her Republican competitor. Abrams has blamed voter suppression and skullduggery for her loss in a climate where others who question the results of elections are deplatformed and chided by the current president of the United States.
A New York State of Never Mind
Not to be outdone in the ranks of hypocrisy, freshly-minted New York City Mayor Eric Adams had his own scandal in a teacup moment regarding mask mandates. A number of photographs emerged over the weekend that showed Mayor Adams arm-in-arm and maskless with New York business owners in their establishments, despite a city-wide order that masks must be worn in all indoor spaces.
In late January, the New York Supreme Court shot down Governor Kathy Hochul’s state-wide mandate, but the ruling was appealed, meaning it could stay in place. Adams doubled down the following day, insisting that mandates on schools remain in place. And while the photographs did not show the mayor in any school buildings, the same science is being quoted as the reason for both business and school mask requirements; the mayor’s photo displays a stunning level of either unawareness or hypocrisy.
Also on the Roster…
Other high-profile Democrats have also been caught flouting the rules in recent weeks. From California Governor Gavin Newsom – he of French Laundry fame – to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who ludicrously claimed that although he was caught in violation of masking policy, he was holding his breath, so there was “zero percent chance of infection from that.”
As COVID infections wane globally, blue states and Democrat leaders are still enforcing mandates. That so many elected leaders choose to flaunt rules for which other offenders have been punished smacks not just of hypocrisy but also of disregard for the concerns of their voters.
Rules for thee but not for me is not the clarion call of a real leader. Those who command but do not follow their own rules are telling Americans that they are the elite and are not to be held to the same standard as working guys and gals. Despite the hardships business owners and parents have suffered during more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, these so-called leaders have demonstrated that your thoughts, your finances, and ultimately, your freedoms mean nothing when compared to the chance of a good photo op.
~ Read more from Mark Angelides.
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