Social media users piled on Vice President Kamala Harris’ tweet from Sunday that featured an unmasked Harris posing with a young Black girl wearing a mask.
Harris posted the picture from her personal account, along with a comment meant to inspire “Black women and girls everywhere.”
“My message to Black women and girls everywhere: Never ask for permission to lead,” Harris tweeted.
Twitter users attacked the irony of the choice of the image and quote.
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“But she needs to ask permission to breathe freely? GTFO,” defense attorney Marina Medvin commented.
“Did you mean ‘never mask for permission’?” WalkUp Foundation founder Ryan Petty, who lost his daughter in the Parkland, Florida, shooting wrote.
Conservative Twitter personality Noam Blum remarked, “Interesting that the image description doesn’t mention the girl is masked.”
Civil liberties attorney Jenin Younes replied, “Are you serious? You’re muffling a child and think you’re conveying the message that she has the right to lead? You can’t be serious.”
“The rage I feel when I see adults without masks and children wearing them is not good for my health,” comedian Bridget Phetasy wrote.
DeSantis Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw tweeted, “Kids should not have to ask for permission to show their faces and breathe freely.”
Washington Examiner columnist Ian Hayworth joked, “Lead? Your boss is an old rich white guy.”
The photo came from an event that took place on July 2021 where the vice president touted the American Rescue Plan allowing families to receive their first monthly Child Tax Credit relief payments.
Harris was previously ripped by Twitter users after appearing maskless at a political event surrounded by masked schoolchildren in Washington D.C. back in April. Harris’ office argued to Fox News Digital at the time that she declined to wear a mask because city guidance stated that masking was optional for both students and staff.
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The vice president, however, violated guidelines just days afterward while presiding over the Senate. Although Harris had been exposed to an infected staffer, she did not wear a mask and was frequently spotted without wearing one on the floor.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines at the time recommended that people who received their COVID-19 booster shot and were exposed to COVID wear a mask in public for 10 days. In a statement from the White House, an official insisted that Harris practiced “social distancing” with “limited” and “brief” interactions with others after consulting with a doctor.
Several other Democratic figures were previously lambasted for posing maskless, sometimes with masked schoolchildren. Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams infamously posed with children in a classroom back in Feb. 2022.
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“I took a picture and that was a mistake. Protocols matter. Protecting our kids is the most important thing, and anything that can be perceived as undermining that is a mistake, and I apologize,” Abrams told CNN after the backlash.