Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is accusing the media of launching a "smear attack" against him after a photographer caught him at a party in which seemingly no attendees either wore masks or adhered to social distancing guidelines.
The Arizona Republic reports that the photo, which was posted on Twitter Sunday night, "shows Ducey standing by several other people at what appears to be a backyard event, chatting near a pool and cocktail tables decorated with red and white runners."
The governor's office says that the photo is part of a "smear attack," and notes that it was taken at a June 6th graduation party, which occurred before COVID-19 cases had really erupted in the state.
However, the Arizona Republic writes that the state at that time "had roughly 23,000 confirmed cases and was fast approaching 1,000 known deaths."
Additionally, the newspaper writes that "many graduates and their families canceled or postponed celebrations" for graduations this year to prevent the spread of the virus. What's more, the local Peoria Times newspaper reported last month that Ducey himself warned that going to graduation parties had become prime spots for the spread of the disease.
Although Ducey has not instituted a statewide face mask requirement, he has encouraged Arizona residents to wear masks when they're outside of their homes and social distancing is not possible.
See the photo below.
Doug Ducey should probably resign and not come back to Arizona https://t.co/1LTMi1d5LP— carter 🌹 (@carter 🌹)1594592896.0