Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) did not wear a mask or maintain social distancing when the cameras were off during an interview with CBS News’s Ed O’Keefe Friday, despite routinely asking Georgians to follow public health guidance, according to a picture his press secretary shared on social media.
“a little tie fixing action with @edokeefe, can’t wait for y’all to see this interview,” his press secretary, Meredith Brasher, wrote, providing a photo of a maskless Warnock adjusting O’Keefe’s tie and another of the two engaging in the interview. Notably, Warnock had his mask on in the second photo as the cameras rolled:
— Meredith Brasher (she/her) (@mere___dith) March 19, 2021
“When the cameras are on Warnock is six feet away and wearing six masks. When he thinks the cameras are off he’s maskless and literally has his hands all over another person. What a fraud,” GOP strategist Arthur Schwartz observed:
For when she deletes pic.twitter.com/aSpbDOAYbT
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) March 20, 2021
Last year, prior to the Georgia runoff election, Warnock said wearing a mask is “as basic as love your neighbor.”
“People should be wearing a mask right now because it’s the right thing to do. For me, it’s as basic as love your neighbor — love your neighbor, love your country, love yourself, socially distance, put on a mask, wash your hands,” he told reporters, adding that he aimed to be a good model as a pastor.
“One of the things that I know as a pastor is that when you have a platform, you have a moral obligation to use that platform to influence hopefully for the sake of the … community, to use that platform to embody good behavior and good practices and people pay attention,” he said.
“And so my loudest sermon as a pastor is not necessarily what I say on Sunday but what I do. And so I try to model good health, which is why I wear a mask,” he continued.
“And our leaders, whether they are gathered at the White House or at some other political event, it would go a long way if they would put on a mask,” Warnock added.
In late December, Warnock took to social media and begged Americans to follow the “3 W’s,” which included washing hands, wearing a mask, and watching your distance:
Make sure to continue following the 3 W’s!
Wash your hands
😷Wear a Mask
🚶🏾♂️Watch your distance
We will get through this together.
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) December 29, 2020
Notably, CNN’s DJ Judd also shared an image of a maskless Warnock on Friday, greeting students at Emory University:
Georgia Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock greet students at Emory University after meeting with President Joe Biden. "We just wanted to say thank you to the people of Georgia for placing your trust in John, and myself," Warnock says. "How about that American Rescue Plan?" pic.twitter.com/SBFJbNjF6y
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) March 19, 2021
Warnock is hardly the only Democrat figure to fail to abide by his own standards. Climate envoy John Kerry recently came under fire after hanging his mask off his ear as he sat aboard an American Airlines flight, prompting an airline investigation. He was not eating or drinking at the time, making it a clear violation of the federal mandate. Kerry simply said it was “momentary”:
Feels like there’s some St. Patrick’s day “malarkey” afoot on Twitter. Let’s be clear: If I dropped my mask to one ear on a flight, it was momentary. I wear my mask because it saves lives and stops the spread. It’s what the science tells us to do.
— Special Presidential Envoy John Kerry (@ClimateEnvoy) March 17, 2021
No, it's a federal mandate to wear masks and we require them on our aircraft. This is being looked into.
— americanair (@AmericanAir) March 18, 2021
It remains unclear if he will face consequences.