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Stacey Abrams criticized after posing maskless surrounded by masked children

(CBS News) -- Democrat Stacey Abrams' campaign is assailing her critics after she posed for photos mask-less and surrounded by masked children during a visit to a Georgia school. The photos, which drew heavy criticism from conservatives, have since been deleted.

Abrams' campaign called the criticisms following her Friday visit to Glennwood Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, for a Black history month event a "false political attack" and "silly." The school's principal originally posted the pictures, and Abrams' campaign initially amplified them on Twitter, but the photos were deleted over the weekend. The city of Decatur, Georgia, currently has an indoor masking requirement.

Abrams is running a second campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor. Republicans Brian Kemp, who defeated her in 2018, and David Perdue are vying for the Republican nomination.

"It is shameful that our opponents are using a Black History month reading event for Georgia children as the impetus for a false political attack, and it is pitiful and predictable that our opponents continue to look for opportunities to distract from their failed records when it comes to protecting public health during the pandemic," her campaign posted in a statement on Instagram. "...This pathetic, transparent and silly attack is beneath anyone who claims he wants to lead Georgia."

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