“While I can’t blame anyone directly for this, this week has shown that some members of Congress are not taking this crisis seriously,” he said. “Many Republican members regularly strut around the Capitol without masks to make a selfish political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff and families.
The attack comes after Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas who has frequently refused to wear a mask, tested positive for the coronavirus last week. In avoiding a mask, Gohmert follows the lead of Donald Trump, who is rarely seen wearing one in the White House or on presidential visits.
In a television interview after the diagnosis, Gohmert even suggested that he may have contracted coronavirus by wearing his mask incorrectly.
“I can’t help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place, if I could have put germs or some of the virus on the mask and inhaled it,” Gohmert said.
After Gohmert’s news broke, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would require all House members and assistants to wear a mask. “Members and staff will be required to wear masks at all times in the Chamber lobby,” Pelosi said.
Lawmakers will be allowed to temporarily remove masks when they speak out.