South Carolina governor Henry McMaster wants you to “wear a mask, wear a mask, wear a mask.” Or so says his current pinned tweet. And in fairness to the governor, there is some evidence that wearing a mask in response to the coronavirus pandemic is the smart move – to the extent you believe Covid-19 poses a legitimate danger to your health.
For most people, it doesn’t … but …
Anyway, last week reporter Meg Kinnard of The Associated Press documented several appearances made by a mask-less McMaster at the 2020 Republican National Convention. In each of these appearances the governor – an acolyte of U.S. president Donald Trump – was seen in public not taking his own advice on masks.
“I point this out only because he made such a big deal about wearing one,” Kinnard tweeted.
Kinnard later pointed out McMaster “could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and/or fined for similar behavior” – specifically referencing executive orders issued by the governor during South Carolina’s ongoing (and constitutionally dubious) state of emergency.
Did McMaster get the message? Apparently not …
On the evening after Kinnard’s story was published – Friday, August 27, 2020 – the governor and his wife Peggy McMaster posted for pictures at the convention alongside S.C. Republican Party (SCGOP) chairman Drew McKissick and dozens of GOP activists.
In one of the pictures provided to this news outlet, only three of the roughly five dozen people in the frame were wearing masks.
Take a look …
(Click to view)
“Where are the masks?” one of our sources wondered.
Good question …
Of interest? McMaster wasn’t the only mask-less “Republican” in this group who has previously (and publicly) admonished citizens for not wearing masks.
Except for her, obviously …
“To be clear, I have nothing against people not wearing masks,” our founding editor Will Folks tweeted in response to the image. “It’s their choice. It’s the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ hypocrisy of (McMaster) that is just galling.”
Curiously, Kinnard took to Twitter to defend McMaster in this particular instance.
“In fairness, multiple sources have told me that the governor wore his mask throughout the event in your photo – only removing it when necessary (and obviously for that picture),” she tweeted. “My Thursday story was written after viewing him without it in multiple photos and video.”
Meanwhile, Republican officials touted all the safety precautions they claim to have observed at this gathering – arguing that they “literally followed every guideline and procedure” related to stopping the spread of the virus.
“The event last night literally had tables seven-ish feet apart, five seats to a table, temps taken of everyone that walked in and the only time people didn’t have a mask on was while they were at the table, eating or speaking and photos,” one SCGOP source told us.
The source added that McMaster “had his mask on the ENTIRE Night except for being on stage speaking and then the photos.”
“There were reporters there, (and) if there was an issue on masks/ social distancing I’m pretty sure they would have done a story or something about it,” the source continued.
Again, we do not care about individuals wearing – or not wearing – masks at private events.
That is totally up to them.
In fact, our founding editor made as much clear in his response to the GOP official.
“I don’t care about masks,” he fired back. “I’m a libertarian. Who had Covid in February. My point is it takes a special kind of stupid for people who have preached mask-wearing to pose for pics (in public) without them.”
Of course, McMaster has demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 situation that he is, in fact, a special kind of stupid.
Again, wear a mask, don’t wear a mask … ultimately, the choice is yours.
But please – don’t lecture others about doing something that you are not willing to do yourself.
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