House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was spotted in a crowded room in the White House without a mask after she refused to withdraw her mask mandate in the House chamber.
The story: Pelosi attended an event at the White House on Thursday where President Joe Biden signed a bill into law. Videos of the event show that the House Speaker in the East Room of the White House, chatting and hugging others. She did not wear a mask and failed to maintain recommended social distance.
Others lawmakers seen in the video are maskless as well.
Why it matters? Pelosi said lawmakers in the House would still have to continue to wear masks in the chamber even after the Center for Disease and Control issued new guidance, which said vaccinated people can ditch face coverings in most settings.
Pelosi argued that not all members of the House are vaccinated and her office, in a separate statement, cited a lack of clarity about lawmakers and their staffers’ vaccination status.
Pelosi reiterated her stance during her press conference earlier on Thursday after the Speaker was asked when the Capitol would return to normalcy.
“We have to wait for them to be vaccinated, because they are selfishly a dangerment [sic] to other people, including staff people here,” Pelosi said. “So while we are hopeful, and I join the president in being hopeful that we can reach a place where it is safe for people to be. What is this, the honor system? The honor system, as to whether somebody’s been vaccinated? Do you want them breathing in your face on the strength of their honor?”
“This is about science and governance,” she later said, adding that it’s her responsibility to ensure the House does not become a “Petri dish” due to the “selfishness of some not to be vaccinated or to wear a mask, because it requires us to wear a mask.”
“The attending physician has said, ‘Until everybody’s vaccinated, we wear masks,” the Speaker noted.
The punished GOP lawmakers: Three Republicans were fined $500 and seven others were issued warnings for not wearing face coverings in the House chamber earlier this week. At least two of those lawmakers, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) threw away their written warnings from the House.
Massie posted a picture of his warning in a trash can and Greene filmed herself shredding the letter from the House.
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