Do as I say, not as I do. That was Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam's attitude over the weekend.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Northam announced last week that he would issue a statewide policy on Tuesday requiring Virginians to wear face masks while in public. He told the public their "homework" for the weekend was to buy face coverings for themselves and their families.
But Northam ironically failed his own assignment on Saturday.
While meeting with constituents on Virginia Beach, which had just reopened in time for Memorial Day, the Democratic governor was not wearing a face mask, and was often within six feet of others.
Gov. Northam without a face mask.Image source: WVEC-TV screenshot
Northam's office excused his mask-less face by claiming the governor did not expect to be within six feet of others while visiting the crowded beach.
"The Governor has repeatedly encouraged wearing face coverings inside or when social distancing is impossible. He was outside today and not expecting to be within six feet of anyone," a spokesperson said, WWBT-TV reported.
In another statement, Northam spokesman Alena Yarmosky reduced the situation to a learning moment.
"This is an important reminder to always have face coverings in case situations change — we are all learning how to operate in this new normal, and it's important to be prepared," Yarmosky told the Associated Press.