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On Wednesday, Los Angeles Democrat Mayor Eric Garcetti insisted that when he went maskless at SoFi Stadium last weekend for the NFC Championship game, he was “holding his breath.” SoFi Stadium’s rules dictate that masks are required indoors and outdoors during events with more than 5,000 people.
Asked about photos of him maskless with Los Angeles Lakers icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Garcetti stated, “I’ll take personal responsibility, 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,” Deadline reported.
“I wore my mask the entire game,” Garcetti protested. “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.”
He added, “I won’t pull it down for two seconds anymore — that’s easy. But to me, it is crystal clear that nobody has been endangered by that and I’m trying to model the good behavior of making sure we wear this (for the) entire game,” The Daily Mail noted.
Garcetti was widely mocked on social media:
I cannot stop laughing https://t.co/E7l8FXrih1
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) February 3, 2022
This isn't hypocrisy. This keeps happening because the politicians who impose all these COVID rules and restrictions on everyone else see them as a useless joke, and that's why they ignore them in their own lives and end up saying darkly hilarious things like this to justify it: https://t.co/Xfz16ZlR0L
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 3, 2022
He really thinks we're that stupid https://t.co/ntBss6Ea5Z
— Matt Gorman (@mattsgorman) February 3, 2022
Like Bill Clinton, he never inhaled. https://t.co/rtixeXf4pH
— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) February 3, 2022
LA, a city I've called home and love, deserves a better-quality liar than Garcetti. https://t.co/HA7okSshdj
— Nick Gillespie (@nickgillespie) February 3, 2022
these f*ckers will keep lying and nobody will care and your toddlers will have to be masked up in daycare forever. https://t.co/dm4iClqBFL
— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) February 3, 2022
My 4-year-old still has to wear a mask outdoors at her Pre-K https://t.co/3bBjzIOKo5
— Anthony L. Fisher (@anthonyLfisher) February 3, 2022
Johnson later tweeted photos from the event showing him accompanied at various times by Garcetti, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed, all of them maskless.
Hanging out at SoFi Stadium today! pic.twitter.com/XfotiRLGz9
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 31, 2022
“Los Angeles County Public Health officials issued repeated reminders over the past two weeks that masks must be worn at such mega events, even at outdoor gatherings,” Deadline noted.
On Monday, when asked about the photos, Newsom protested:
You’re correct. I was very judicious yesterday. Very judicious. 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.
He added, “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.”
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer stated, “Transmission is super high here. And we’ve got to get to lower rates before it makes sense to be taking off our masks.”
After L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said people should be permitted to decide for themselves whether to wear masks, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell fired, “I’m not sure what motivated Supervisor Barger to make her public statement yesterday. As chairwoman of the board and the person who actually represents SoFi Stadium, I stand by the director of our department of public health and literally ever other public health official across the country, who acknowledges that mask wearing is an easy form of protection.”