Governor Kate Brown’s political adviser on Monday brushed off criticism that she attended a seemingly maskless D.C. gala as Oregon continues to live with some of the strictest mask mandates in the country.
On Saturday, the LGBTQ Victory Institute inducted Brown into its hall of fame to honor her as the nation’s first openly LGBTQ governor during an event in Washington. Brown is bisexual.
Conservatives took note of several pictures of Brown at the event without a mask, though Oregon requires masks indoors.
“Why should Oregonians be expected to follow Governor Brown’s rules when she doesn’t follow them herself? Oregonians deserve better than this kind of hypocrisy from their governor,” tweeted Representative Christine Drazan, a Canby Republican running for governor.
Christine Drazan on Twitter: “Why should Oregonians be expected to follow Governor Brown’s rules when she doesn’t follow them herself? Oregonians deserve better than this kind of hypocrisy from their governor. https://t.co/yoxndfLv7A #orpol / Twitter”
Why should Oregonians be expected to follow Governor Brown’s rules when she doesn’t follow them herself? Oregonians deserve better than this kind of hypocrisy from their governor. https://t.co/yoxndfLv7A #orpol
Brown’s political adviser, Chris Pair, said all attendees had to show proof of vaccination and Washington, D.C., doesn’t have an indoor mask mandate.
“Regardless of the local rules, Governor Brown went further and remained masked during the event except when giving her acceptance speech, eating, or taking pictures with attendees,” he said.
At least one photo from the event shows Brown talking, maskless, at a table, though it’s unclear whether she had food in front of her.
On Monday, she attended the Oregon Business Plan summit in Portland. There, Brown wore a mask onto the stage, removed it as she sat for a brief interview with Dutch Bros CEO Joth Ricci and put it back on as soon as she stood to leave the stage. All attendees at that event had to show proof of vaccination and were spaced throughout a ballroom, wearing masks except while eating lunch.
Oregon Republicans previously criticized Brown for hiking sans mask in August 2020. At the time, the state required masks outdoors wherever people couldn’t stay 6 feet apart. When Brown reissued an outdoor mask mandate this August, she specifically exempted fleeting encounters, such as passing another person on a trail or sidewalk, but that exemption wasn’t in the 2020 order.
Brown’s attendance at the D.C. gala came as Oregon regulators consider making permanent a temporary rule requiring masks be worn indoors. The rule, issued in early August, expires in February, and the Oregon Health Authority can’t extend a temporary rule past 180 days.
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