Pelosi Mandates Masks in the House of Representatives

Rep. Louie Gohmert R-Texas questions Attorney General William Barr during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the oversight of the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill on Tuesday in Washington

Pelosi, D-Calif., is considering other measures to more strictly enforce the wearing of masks in the Capitol complex, according to a Democratic official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private discussion.

Texas Republican Congressmember Louie Gohmert tested positive for the coronavirus Wednesday, after he consistently refused to wear a mask in the U.S. Capitol - including in a committee hearing Tuesday where Attorney General William Barr gave testimony.

"Ridiculing people for wearing masks is also not uncommon", an aide of a Republican congress member who previously had COVID-19 said to Politico. To reiterate, the chair views the failure to wear a mask as a serious breach of decorum. "All Members and staff are expected to adhere to this requirement as a sign of respect for the health, safety, and well-being of others present in the Chamber and surrounding areas".

Members and staff will not be allowed to enter if they don't wear masks.

Dr Brian Monahan, Congress' attending physician, advised members of the Judiciary Committee that they could be at elevated risk if they sat near Gohmert or used the same equipment, but said Democrats, at least, did not need to quarantine.

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In an interview from his office later Wednesday, he told KETK 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.

It's true it is possible you could touch something covered in the virus then rub it on the inside of your mask, but that's sort of like standing in dog poop then blaming your shoe. The lawmaker said he is asymptomatic, and suggested that he could have contracted the virus while he was wearing a mask. The representative has put forth the ridiculous justification that he is a very important person who receives regular virus tests, and that somehow absolves him of responsibility.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) told CNN Wednesday that he does not plan to self-isolate despite having a recent maskless interaction with Gohmert who had announced a positive test for the virus. Members will be able to temporarily remove them while speaking, however.

Gohmert's declaration was certain to rankle his fellow Republicans, who are choreographing a risky dance of inflaming civilian disdain for face masks and minimising the ongoing pandemic as a still distant threat.

Public health experts, doctors, and federal, state, and local authorities have all begged people to please just wear the goddamn masks. "That does speak volumes, I think". However, he was seen without it a few times during the hearing and was seen walking and talking with Barr. McConnell and Pelosi jointly rejected Trump's offer for rapid testing for lawmakers in May, saying they wanted to instead direct resources to front-line workers. Associated Press contributed to the report.

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