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Democratic LA Mayor Eric Garcetti says he held his breath during photo of him not wearing mask — despite local mask mandate — at NFL playoff game

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Image source: KABC-TV video screenshot

Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he held his breath while a photo was taken of him not wearing a mask during Sunday's NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium — the home field of the Los Angeles Rams.

What are the details?

NBA legend Earvin Magic Johnson posted a photo of him standing next to Garcetti during the game; neither of them is wearing a mask. But a mask can be seen in Garcetti's hand while the photo — in the top-left corner of Johnson's tweet — was snapped:

A local public health officer's order requires attendees of so-called outdoor “mega events" to wear masks at all times except when “actively eating or drinking," Deadline reported.

What did Garcetti have to say?

At a Wednesday afternoon press conference on safety and security for the Super Bowl — which, as it happens, also will take place at SoFi Stadium — Garcetti told reporters he held his breath while the photo in question was taken.

“I’ll take personal responsibility,” Garcetti said, according to Deadline. "And if it makes you and everyone else happy — or even the photographs with people where literally I’m holding my breath for two seconds — I won’t even do that.”

And according to KABC-TV, Garcetti also said during Wednesday's press conference that "I wore my mask the entire game. When people ask for a photograph, I hold my breath, and I put it here, and people can see that. There is a zero percent chance of infection from that."

Gov. Gavin Newsom seen maskless, too

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom also was photographed not wearing a mask while standing next to Johnson during the game. And although Newsom didn't claim he held his breath, the governor gave a decidedly strained response defending his actions.

“I was very judicious yesterday. Very judicious," Newsom said with a seemingly nervous laugh when asked Monday about the photo of him maskless.

He continued, according to Deadline, saying that "you’ll see the photo that I did take, Magic was kind enough, generous enough, to ask me for a photograph, and in my left hand’s the mask, and I took the photo. The rest of the time I wore it, as we all should, um — not when I had a glass of water — and I encourage everybody else to do so. And, uh, that’s it.”

The outlet added that Newsom also was asked if he should have thought twice about taking off his mask given the controversy after he was spotted maskless at the posh French Laundry restaurant in 2020: “Yes, of course. I was trying to be gracious. I made a mis — I was trying to be gracious. I took the mask off for a brief second but, no, I encourage people to continue to wear them."

But as TheBlaze noted Tuesday, photo evidence from Sunday's game shows Newsom's mask down and dangling from one ear at one point. He was not eating or drinking — and those around him also weren't wearing masks:

Gov. Newsom (right) with his face mask dangling from his earImage source: LA Rams "fan cam" screenshot

Deadline appears to concur:

Footage shown during the game, however, seemed to tell a different story. It begins with a shot of a maskless Jessica Alba before cutting to a smiling Magic Johnson greeting a man who appears from the back to be the governor — similar height, similar trucker hat, similar navy blue fleece. The man walks up and moves to slap hands. Neither Johnson nor the man who approaches him are wearing masks. Other images of Newsom, sitting with and without a mask at the game, have surfaced since.

Pushback

Republican California state Sen. Melissa Melendez in a Twitter post criticized Newsom and Garcetti for their maskless mugs:

"Toddlers are being forced to wear masks all day long in school," Melendez wrote. "Maybe one day they'll be governor or the mayor of L.A. and they won't have to follow the rules they impose on others."

Here's a report on the issue from KABC:

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