Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Governor Edwards addresses viral photo showing him maskless at country club

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BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards briefly addressed a recent photo showing him without a mask at the Baton Rouge Country Club during a news conference about Louisiana's coronavirus response Wednesday.

The photo appeared to show the governor near a dinner table on an outdoor balcony, without his mask, talking to other patrons. It's unclear exactly when the photo, which has circulated on social media in the past week, was taken.

The governor, who's regularly touted the use of masks and social distancing during his press conferences, responded to questions about the photo Wednesday. 

"There was absolutely nothing that I did that day that violated the rules that were in place in phase 3, which is when that actually happened," Edwards explained. "It looked to me like I was getting up to leave. Had that photo been taken 10 seconds later you would've seen me with a mask on till the time I got in the car.... I don't think we ask anybody to eat at a table with a mask on. But you'll see that I'm outdoors and violated absolutely none of the mitigation measures that we have in place."

Masks have been required at businesses throughout Louisiana since Edwards issued the mask mandate in mid-July. 

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