House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has refused to change the mask mandate in the House of Representatives despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eased mask guidelines.
“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.
Despite the new guidelines, Pelosi told CNN’s Manu Raju that she would not be changing the rules until every representative was vaccinated.
“No,” the California Democrat said. “Are they all vaccinated?”
Capitol physician says in memo: “For the Hall Of The House: The present mask requirement and other guidelines remain unchanged until all Members and floor staff are fully vaccinated.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 14, 2021
The Office of Attending Physician’s Office updated the mask mandate for House office building spaces and all other areas but said the mandate on the floor and around the chamber is unchanged.
“The present mask requirement and other guidelines remain unchanged until all Members and floor staff are fully vaccinated,” the guidance says, according to Politico reporter Sarah Ferris.
A quarter of legislators have not yet been vaccinated, Pelosi said last month, according to The Washington Post.
“We can not require someone to be vaccinated,” Pelosi said.
Thirty-four Republican lawmakers urged Pelosi to drop the pandemic restrictions in a Thursday letter.
“The United States Congress must serve as a model to show the country we can resume normal life through vaccination. Let’s follow the science and get back to work,” the letter read.
Rep. Bob Gibbs called Pelosi’s decision “Mask-erpiece Theater.”
“Based on sound science, the CDC says those who are vaccinated have an incredibly low risk of becoming infected with coronavirus,” the Ohio Republican said in a statement.
“With that data, there is no reason the House of Representatives should not be fully open and returned to normal operations.”
Rep. Bryon Donalds added, “It should have been gone months ago.”
“Most of the members are either vaccinated or have antibodies. It’s a dumb rule to have,” the Florida Republican said.
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