GOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor
Aug 01 2020
The new requirement came after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) tested positive for the coronavirus the day before, rattling lawmakers and staff across the Capitol complex.
"I don't know who needs to hear this, but if you're a member of Congress who refuses to wear a mask on Capitol Hill, you're not only putting your colleagues at risk - you're endangering the staff who works here, including many of my constituents", she said.
Moreover, Gohmert, who has this week actively voted and engaged in congressional hearings, often wearing a bandanna, sparked several rank-and-file lawmakers and aids to quarantine and even attorney general William Bar to get tested.
Gohmert was among the handful of House Republicans who had been resistant to wearing masks despite public health experts' recommendations that facial coverings are an effective way to prevent spread of viral droplets.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican Party, Kentucky, has also pushed the use of masks, and most senators have worn them.
But with the coronavirus surging in many states this summer, there is a renewed push by Republicans and Democrats to have more regular testing of lawmakers. He pleaded with Republicans like Gohmert to put on masks or go home.
Many of those lawmakers who didn't consistently wear masks represent states that are now coronavirus hot spots, including Texas, Arizona and Florida.
Per Politico, Gohmert's positive test result came back during routine a White House screening before he boarded a scheduled flight to Texas with Donald Trump later in the day.
In an interview from his office later Wednesday, he toldKETK TV, a Texas Fox affiliate, that he would isolate for 10 days on the advice of doctors and would wear a mask "religiously" until he was cleared.
She added that as speaker she has the authority to direct the House sergeant-at-arms to refuse entry to members who refuse to wear a mask. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus.
The Hill reporter Olivia Beavers shared video Wednesday showing Gohmert and Barr close to each other in the Capitol halls, both without masks.
Mask-wearing is strongly encouraged but not enforced for lawmakers in the Capitol, while other workers and law enforcement officers are required to have on masks. There is no proven science saying that a person can not get the virus again.
After Gohmert tested positive, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Barr would be tested today. An aide who responded asked that when the story is published, it "include the fact that Louie requires full staff to be in the office, including three interns, so that 'we could be an example to America on how to open up safely.'" The aide also implied that individuals visiting the office while wearing masks were regularly belittled for doing so.
Several senators said they were pushing for more regular testing in the Capitol, as there is now no testing program or requirements.