New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is under fire for not wearing a mask during a recent visit with the mayor of Savannah, Georgia.
What are the details?
Video emerged of the meeting, which took place last week. Cuomo visited with Democratic Savannah Mayor Van Johnson in order to discuss helping with the southern city's coronavirus response.
At the time of this writing, researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that there have been at least 170,843 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Georgia. The same researchers estimate that there have been 412,344 confirmed cases in the state of New York.
During his visit with the Savannah mayor, Cuomo — without wearing a mask — hugged Johnson twice during a press briefing. The two also elbow-bumped.
Mr. wear your mask not wearing a mask in Georgia. https://t.co/MGPS0ucQNf— Janice Dean (@Janice Dean)1595511906.0
'We messed up'
According to the New York Post, Johnson admitted the snafu.
"We messed up, I mean, yeah, we messed up," Johnson told reporters. "We're human. We made a mistake."
Johnson's spokesperson also told the outlet that the mayor is remorseful for the lapse in judgment and "promises to do better."
"[Johnson] was genuinely thankful so they just elbow-bumped — kind of like you would shake hands — and it wouldn't have been a big deal, but they had just finished the press conference and their masks were on the table," the spokesperson said. "Throughout the rest of the meeting — other than that one photo, the mayor and the governor had their masks on."
The spokesperson added, "The purpose of the meeting was to come together to fight against COVID-19. It's unfortunate people are grasping at that one moment."
"They had their masks on the entire time and maintained six feet of social distancing," the spokesperson said at the time.
Cuomo himself has not publicly issued a response to the criticism at the time of this writing.
Cuomo senior adviser Rich Azzopardi told the outlet, "Everyone wore masks the entire time except when they spoke at the press conference and these photos were taken three seconds after it ended."
"There is no bigger champion of wearing masks than this governor and it's ironic that the right wing echo chamber that spent months trying to politicize mask wearing is now trying to seize of this cheap political attack," Azzopardi said.
Following the Georgia visit, Cuomo insisted he would not quarantine upon return to New York because he is an "essential" employee despite a Cuomo-issued requirement that anyone traveling to New York from Georgia must self-quarantine.
Do I say - but not for me >> no mask and no #socialdistancing #Cuomo #cuomounmasked #CuomoPrimeTime https://t.co/62sBreqDlz— Loveyourhealthylife (@Loveyourhealthylife)1595418392.0