Pelosi Blasts Unmasked House Republicans For Turning Chamber Into ‘Petri Dish’
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 28: Wearing a face mask to reduce the risk posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center January 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. When asked about what she means when she said Congress has an 'enemy within,' Pelosi said, 'It means that we have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday blasted lawmakers who have “selfishly” refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and said rules to require masks on the House floor will stay in place.

“They are selfishly an endangerment to other people, including staff people here,” Pelosi said Thursday of her colleagues who haven’t been vaccinated. “It is unfortunate that a large number of people in the Congress have refused to be vaccinated. … Until they are vaccinated, we cannot have meetings without masks.”

“We have a responsibility to make sure the House of Representatives’ chamber is not a petri dish,” she added during her weekly press conference at the Capitol.

Pelosi recently said about three-fourths of House lawmakers are vaccinated, but warned about those who are not. “Do you want them breathing in your face on the strength of their honor?” Pelosi said.

Pelosi’s comments came after the House announced three Republican lawmakers will be fined $500 each for entering the House floor without masks, despite the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“A Capitol official said that Republican Reps. Brian Mast (Fla.), Beth Van Duyne (Texas) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa) will be fined $500 after ignoring previous warnings,” The Hill reported.

“Seven other Republicans will be issued formal warnings and would face $500 fines if they refuse to wear masks on the House floor again: Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Chip Roy (Texas), Bob Good (Va.), Mary Miller (Ill.), and Louie Gohmert (Texas).”

For the next offense, the three offenders will be fined $2,500.

Mast, who has been fully vaccinated, blasted the move.

“The truth is, from this moment on, Americans must ignore lies and start to listen to scientists. The scientists at the CDC are telling us if you are fully vaccinated, you can go about your life without wearing a mask or physically distancing. So, that’s what I’m doing.  The question people should be asking is why is Speaker Pelosi not? For her, this has never been about science, it’s always been about power and control over the American people,” he said in a statement.

Greene posted a photo of herself and other lawmakers without masks on Twitter, writing: “#FreeYourFace Masks are oppressive and nothing but a political tool. End the oppression!”

Last Thursday, the CDC announced new guidance on mask-wearing.

“If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic,” the CDC said in updated guidance on COVID-19. “Fully vaccinated people 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.”

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky went further, saying: “Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities — large or small — without wearing a mask or physically distancing. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.”

The Republicans were staging a protest against the House floor mask mandate remaining in place despite new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 don’t have to wear masks indoors or outdoors, except for certain crowded settings.

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unilaterally decided that House members should be required to wear masks, despite the new guidance from the CDC,  34 GOP members of the House sent Pelosi a letter protesting the decision, with one of them referring to her decision as “cowering in fear in defiance of common sense” and calling it “Mask-erpiece Theater.”

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