House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a Friday interview that the only reason the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its masking rules for vaccinated Americans was to distract people from the skyrocketing gas prices.
The rising gas prices were in response to high fuel demand following the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline Company.
Colonial Pipeline Company operates the largest fuel pipeline in the United States — providing roughly half of all diesel and gasoline on the East Coast — and became aware of a cyberattack from hackers linked to a group called DarkSide last Friday, promptly shutting down its operations.
Because of the shutdown, there was a shortage of fuel at many gas stations along the Coast.
“You know the only reason why they changed not wearing the mask?” McCarthy told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“Gasoline went to $7 and there were gasoline lines and he wanted to change the news.”
Americans began panic buying gasoline in response to the Colonial Pipeline hacking, leading to a gasoline shortage.
% stations without gasoline, 8am CT, change since last update:
AL 8% N/C
DC 81% -7%
DE 3% N/C
FL 24% -1%
GA 46% N/C
KY 2% -1%
LA 0% N/C
MD 38% -1%
MS 6% N/C
NC 68% +1%
NJ 1% N/C
SC 49% N/C
TN 29% N/C
TX 0% N/C
VA 42% N/C
WV 6% N/C
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️? (@GasBuddyGuy) May 15, 2021
“Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance,” the CDC guidance reads.
McCarthy said that they should have stopped wearing masks long ago.
“I believe in the vaccine. I’ve been vaccinated. I don’t need to wear a mask,” the California Republican said.
“We need to get back to work, back to school, back to health and back to normal. It’s simple. That’s the only thing we should focus on.”
McCarthy also described a meeting he attended in the White House and said that Biden was “engaging” but didn’t have the energy level of former President Donald Trump.
“In [Trump’s] first week, he had a bipartisan, bicameral meeting inside the White House. This was the first time [the Biden administration] had any bipartisan meeting, and think of the crises that are happening,” he said.
“They’ve ignored them, but they are igniting them at the same time.”
He added, “I see Joe as out of it, a little checked out. I am concerned that I am not the only one that sees it.”
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