Republican leaders blasted Vice President Kamala Harris for taking a maskless photo with several elementary schoolchildren from Washington, D.C., all of whom were masked.
The Republican National Committee posted a video of Harris, who was on a visit to Neville Thomas Elementary School on Monday to promote the Biden administration’s “Action Plan for Building Better School Infrastructure.” The program would seek to upgrade public school facilities and transportation systems to make them more energy-efficient.
As Harris walked up on stage to give remarks on the plan, she paused and encouraged several children to gather around her and posed for photos. The students were all masked, but Harris was not.
Masks for thee but not for me!
Kamala Harris, unmasked, poses for pictures surrounded by masked kids pic.twitter.com/Do7tkNVrDD
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 4, 2022
Other photos from Harris’s visit, via the New York Post, showed the VP in a classroom with young children while she, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, and the principal of the school were all unmasked.
Republican leaders blasted Harris on Twitter, accusing her of hypocrisy.
“Kamala Harris: Rules for thee but not for me,” Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted.
Kamala Harris: Rules for thee but not for me. https://t.co/azVNdICjRX
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 4, 2022
“In the Democrats’ anti-science dystopia, the only person who doesn’t need to wear a mask is Kamala Harris,” RNC Research Rapid Response Director Tommy Pigott replied.
In the Democrats' anti-science dystopia, the only person who doesn't need to wear a mask is Kamala Harris. pic.twitter.com/LFYjv4B0Ob
— Tommy Pigott (@TommyPigott) April 4, 2022
“So wrong on so many levels,” a former adviser to former President Trump tweeted in response.
So wrong on so many levels. https://t.co/zYO7CBlhKU
— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) April 4, 2022
“Lmfao why do they all keep doing this,” conservative digital media strategist Greg Price tweeted, including photos of Harris and other prominent politicians who had previously been photographed maskless: New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who were also photographed with masked children, and Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, who was pictured with masked attendees at a campaign rally in February.
Lmfao why do they all keep doing this pic.twitter.com/3s5N98DJQy
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 4, 2022
“CRINGE! Maskless Kamala Harris FORCES school children to wear masks while she cackles like hyena for the cameras,” podcaster Benny Johnson tweeted.
CRINGE! Maskless Kamala Harris FORCES school children to wear masks while she cackles like hyena for the cameras
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 5, 2022
Harris’s team defended her from the criticisms Monday. Her team told Fox News that she made the decision because the District of Columbia’s mask guidance said that masks were optional for students and staff. Harris’s Senior Advisor for Communications, Herbie Ziskend also responded to Cruz’s tweet with a photo showing maskless students. Harris tweeted similar pictures from her official account.
Same school visit today. https://t.co/FpdI5nJka4
— Herbie Ziskend (@HerbieZiskend46) April 5, 2022
I love spending time with young leaders. Our nation has an obligation to ensure nothing limits their ability to learn, to grow, and to thrive. The investments we are making in public schools will have a significant impact on their health and education. pic.twitter.com/8VFZF6oqOr
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) April 5, 2022
Harris is just the latest Democratic figure to be accused of hypocritical mask theatre.
Conservatives on social media blasted Democratic members of Congress after President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1 for showing up without masks after the House of Representatives relaxed its mask restrictions just in time for the address. Democratic politicians in California, including Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, were similarly blasted after posing for maskless photos at the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, where they were criticized for openly flouting state and local mandates.