While contemplating mandatory mask order, Virginia governor caught without one on beach

Episode at Virginia Beach creates a Twitter outcry, governor's office responds e shunned mask because he was outdoors.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam at a 2019 press conference
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Updated: May 23, 2020 - 10:25pm

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam drew criticism Saturday after he was captured on social media photos without a mask while mingling with constituents on a beach.

The episode at Virginia Beach came one day after Northam reportedly began contemplating a mandatory mask rule for Commonwealth citizens when it reopens from the pandemic. The order would require masks in indoor settings.

"Virginia Gov Northam on the Virginia Beach boardwalk; no mask, no social distancing," one citizen tweeted.  Another complained: "Liberals consistently send a message of 'Do as I say, not as I do.'"


After the outcry, his office issued a statement to a local TV station.

“The Governor has repeatedly encouraged wearing face coverings inside or when social distancing is impossible. He was outside today and not expecting to be within six feet of anyone,” Northam’s office told NBC12 in Richmond.


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