BALTIMORE — On Monday Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott seemed to take offense when a reporter questioned him on photos that surfaced on social media, showing him shopping at a crowded Baltimore County Target store while city businesses remain heavily restricted.
"I had a feeling you would ask that question," Scott responded.
In defense, Scott said he was doing some holiday shopping for kids in need.
"This is about me doing something that I've done, and I know you guys like to do research as you guys go on my Instagram and Facebook and do it for the last few years," Scott said. "Every holiday season I personally go and help families in need -- young people who have lost their parents, families who can't buy their children clothes, families who can't buy food -- that's what I was doing." said Scott.
The photos come less than two weeks after Scott was sworn into office.
Since then he's closed all indoor and outdoor dining and most entertainment venues, although not large retail stores such as Target.
The Restaurant Association of Maryland is challenging the bans in court, by filing for temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions against Scott and leaders in Montgomery and Prince George's County. A judge in Anne Arundel County has already said restaurants there can remain open for now.
Last week we spoke to Michelle Robinson, an out-of-work server from Phillips Seafood at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
She told us this Christmas she's had to make a tough choice.
“I had to sit down with my eight and 10-year-old the other day just to explain to them that we have to make a decision---either you get a Christmas gift or putting food on the table,” said Robinson.
In his short tenure, Scott has already held multiple COVID-19 updates, the latest being Monday.
Each time he's urged residents to stay home and avoid crowds so not to expose themselves to the virus.
Scott has repeatedly encouraged citizens to mingle only with members of their household, while trying to limit the number of people they can have inside their own private residence.
One Facebook user was outraged at the photos.
"Absolutely disgusting. While Mayor Brandon Scott has shuttered most businesses in Baltimore City due to COVID-19, he’s in Baltimore County shopping this weekend. The definition of hypocrisy," the user wrote in part.
The Mayor had some choice words for whoever took the photos.
"Real men don't hide and sneak and take pictures. Real men take it with their camera right in your face," Scott said.
Scott took one last parting shot at the reporter, before ending his second press conference of the day.
"Maybe you should've been in there trying to help out some kids in need as well, thank you."