South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is getting blasted from critics after he was spotted maskless multiple times at the very crowded Republican National Convention.
Associated Press reporter Meg Kinnard was one of the first to point this out on Twitter last night.
“I point this out only because he made such a big deal about wearing one,” Kinnard wrote last night.
This is true — he has repeated the words “wear a mask and social distance” dozens of times during press conferences this summer.
Since June, the “wear a mask” message has been plastered all over his social media. Take a look.
He (or whoever runs his Twitter) also never figured out how to crop a photo on Twitter, but anyways….
In one of many incidents in which McMaster was criticized for his lack of decision-making, the S.C. governor never issued a statewide mask mandate — but pressured local municipalities to do so. A majority of South Carolina’s largest cities have mask mandates right now.
McMaster has struggled mightily throughout the coronavirus pandemic — FITSNews Founding Editor Will Folks reported back in July.
“In responding to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina has been anything but decisive … and his ongoing vacillation is beginning to cost him support up and down the Palmetto political spectrum,” Folks wrote.
Both sides have been frustrated with McMaster’s lack of leadership, Folks wrote.
“On the ideological right, McMaster has been slammed for his initial embrace of draconian shutdown measures – efforts which appear to have only delayed the spread of the virus,” Folks said. “On the left, he has been castigated for his failure to re-impose such measures – or impose a mask mandate.”
Though the coronavirus situation has improved in August with cases and hospitalizations showing positive trends, South Carolina is by no means out of the woods yet. And with 2,500 South Carolinians dead and consistent messaging from state health officials urging how important it is to wear a mask — especially in a large crowd like McMaster was seen in — critics are again disappointed in the governor.
Nobody likes a hypocrite, and that goes for both sides.
“Again, amidst such pervasive uncertainty people respect decisiveness. And while they may not always agree with the decisions being made, they crave a leader who boldly charts a course and sticks to their guns … something McMaster has failed to do from the very beginning of this crisis,” Folks wrote in July (but still very much applies to this).
As Kinnard pointed out, McMaster’s behavior displayed on national television Thursday evening would have been a misdeanor offense in South Carolina, per his own executive order.
My point is not to pile on to the mask conversation, but to point out that, by the governor’s own recent Executive Order extension, signed August 25, people and businesses in SC could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and/or fined for similar behavior if they did that here. pic.twitter.com/ETvMAzzlag— Meg Kinnard (@MegKinnardAP) August 28, 2020
McMaster spokesperson Brian Symmes told Kinnard that McMaster wore a mask “until he was seated in a reserved area for governors and their spouses, and he continued to wear it after the president’s speech.”
Other critics called out McMaster for just attending the campaign event held on White House grounds, which many say is violating federal law.
Predictably, the governor is tanking his poll numbers, Will Folks reported a few weeks ago.
“Irrespective of geography, ideology or partisan affiliation, the incumbent governor is said to be experiencing substantially reduced levels of support among Palmetto State voters – a view these strategists are basing on surveys recently conducted in any number of congressional and legislative campaigns,” Folks wrote.
What’s interesting about McMaster’s decreasing support? He’s losing Trump supporters, a pollster told FITSNews.
“What you have are voters who support Trump, who favor reopening the economy, who want to reopen schools, who hate masks, who hate lockdowns – yet these people are still going against him because they think he’s little more than a puppet,” a source familiar with this focus group research told us. “These voters don’t see him as his own man – they don’t see him as commanding the situation.”
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