Stacey Abrams apologized for the damaging photo of her unmasked among a crowd of masked school children after initially defending the debacle plaguing her campaign for the governorship of Georgia.
Abrams offered an explanation for how the photograph came about on CNN Tuesday.
"Did you make a mistake by taking a photo maskless in the classroom when it appears that everyone else, including all the children, were wearing them?" asked Erin Burnett.
"Yes, I will say this, I went to read to kids for an African American read-in day," Abrams explained.
"I approached the podium with my mask on, I followed the protocols, I told the kids I'm taking my mask off because I'm reading to kids who are listening remotely as well. And we were socially distanced, the kids were socially distanced from me," she said.
"I told them that's what I was doing. And in the excitement after I finished because it was so much fun working with those kids, I took a picture, that was a mistake," Abrams continued.
"Protocols matter, and protecting our kids is the most important thing and anything that can be perceived as undermining that is a mistake and I apologize," she concluded.
The photograph of a maskless Abrams with dozens of masked students and teachers became a touchpoint for many as the latest example of liberal hypocrisy on mask mandates.
Initially, Abrams released a statement accusing her opponents of racism and indignantly defending the photograph.
"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," read the statement in part, "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."
But as more on the left admitted that the photograph was an unforced error on her part and would likely damage the campaign for the governor's office, she relented.
Burnett went on to press Abrams on pushing for mask mandates as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations decreased in Georgia and other Democratic governors lifted their mask mandates.
Abrams said she would "follow the science" if she became governor and hinted that she would not impose a mask mandate if the health statistics showed that the coronavirus pandemic was transitioning into an endemic mode.
Here's the video of Abrams' comments:
Stacey Abrams speaks out on maskless photo of her from school event www.youtube.com
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