Fully educated members of Congress and staffers will no more need to wear masks to the House floor and in committee rooms, the Office of the Attending Doctor said Friday, delighting some GOP lawmakers who were chafing in the mask-wearing requirements.
The new protocol came almost a month later vaccinated Americans were advised they could ditch their masks, and just days before House lawmakers were set to return to Washington after three weeks in their home districts. Before they left, a few Republicans invited fines by not wearing a mask onto the home floor.
One of those lawmakers, Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., tweeted Friday at a dig at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:”PELOSI CAVES. FREEDOM PREVAILS.”
I’ve been advocating the House to lead by example and fully vaccinated Members to go without sprays since April. Great to find that the home is FINALLY listening into the science.”
Both of the GOP lawmakers had been fined $500 final month for failing to put on a mask onto the House floor. Democrats said they had been hoping to ditch their masks, also, but wanted their GOP colleagues to get vaccinated .
Friction within the House’s mask-wearing requirements increased after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued brand new guidelines last month, saying it is safe for fully vaccinated people to bypass confront coverings and social distancing in most situations.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., sought to get the Office of the Attending Physician to upgrade its guidance for mask wearing, but Democrats conquered it together a party-line vote of 218-210. The doctor’s office is the medical component of Congress.
Dr. Brian P. Monahan, head of the health care office, mentioned in Friday’s memo the relaxed conditions for people who were vaccinated stem from an”constant decrease in coronavirus community spread.” He also stated that confront coverings would still be required for those that aren’t completely vaccinated and for”vaccination-indeterminate people”
He noted that about 43% of Americans are vaccinated and 52% have received at least one dose. “Congressional neighborhood vaccination rates are usually much greater but vary between Offices and Agencies,” he wrote.
There’s not any requirement for wearing masks in the Senate room.