Several Republican members of the House flouted the rule on mask-wearing on the floor of the chamber Tuesday. In a selfie posted on Twitter by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), the freshman member of Congress said, “Masks are oppressive and nothing but a political tool. End the oppression!”
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) May 18, 2021
CNN’s Manu Raju reported at least eight Republican lawmakers were maskless on the House floor in defiance of the mask mandate implemented by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Among the maskless were Greene, Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Brian Mast (R-FL). Earlier in the day, Politico reported that Mast, who is vaccinated against Covid-19, said in a Republican conference meeting that he was “done” wearing a mask.
First-time offenders face a $500 fine for not wearing a mask on the chamber floor, and a $2500 fine for subsequent offenses.
Mast even addressed the chamber without wearing a mask.
Rep Brian Mast refused to wear a mask on the House floor, even after a staff member of the House Sergeant at Arms came over to talk to him. pic.twitter.com/VYQWhXW3X4
— Kristin Wilson (@kristin__wilson) May 18, 2021
According to Politico’s Melanie Zanona, a tense moment broke out Tuesday when a Democratic representative asked some of the defiant Republicans to mask up, at which point Massie yelled, “I can’t hear you.”
A heated scene on the House floor just a little bit ago. Around 8 or so Republicans are refusing to wear masks & standing by the well of the chamber.
A Dem member went over and confronted a few them. Rep. Thomas Massie shouted back: “I can’t hear you” with your mask on.
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) May 18, 2021
According to Centers for Disease Control guidelines, fully vaccinated individuals “can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
According to a CNN survey of members of Congress, 100% of Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate have been vaccinated. Among Republicans, just 44.8% of House members had been vaccinated, along with 92% of senators.