Capitol physician finally LIFTS the mask mandate for fully-vaccinated members following Republican fury – and 85% of lawmakers have now had shots
- Lawmakers can once again go mask-less on the floor of the House of Representatives if they’ve been vaccinated
- The Office of the Attending Physician, Brian Monahan, sent out new guidance Friday
- It will likely end a months-long tussle between Democrats and Republicans over mask-wearing
- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tried to get rid of masking on the floor last month, but the resolution was tabled by Democrats
- At the time about 75 per cent of House members were vaccinated
- That number represented 100 per cent of Democrats and around 44 per cent of Republicans
Lawmakers can once again go mask-less on the floor of the House of Representatives ending a months-long tussle between Democrats and Republicans.
The Office of the Attending Physician, Brian Monahan, sent out new guidance Friday, CNN reported, that said ‘fully vaccinated individuals may discontinue mask wear and 6-foot social distance separations.’
Last month, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sponsored a resolution to end mask-wearing in the House of Representatives after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had changed its guidance for vaccinated Americans.
In May, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (center) tweeted a photo from the House floor of the GOP lawmakers without face masks; from left Reps. Mary Miller, Ralph Norman and Thomas Massie. Massie organized the bare-faced protest
The Democrats tabled it, however, pointing out that only 75 per cent of lawmakers had been vaccinated at that point.
While 100 per cent of Democrats CNN surveyed had been vaccinated, under half, 44 per cent, of Republican lawmakers had gotten the shot, with 112 out of 212 GOP offices refusing to say.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office was waiting for both lawmakers and staff to get closer to 100 per cent.
‘If Minority Leader McCarthy wants to be maskless on the Floor of the House of Representatives, he should get to work vaccinating his Members,’ Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill said at the time.
On Friday, Forbes reported that 85 per cent of the Capitol complex is now vaccinated.
Before McCarthy’s push to change the rules, some House Republicans flaunted them, going bare-faced and taking selfies on the House floor.
Three of them racked up $500 fines in the process.
‘Best $500 I ever spent,’ Republican Rep. Brian Mast told NBC News.
He refused to put his mask on even after a member of the House Sergeant at Arms’ office approached him on the chamber floor, in full view of C-SPAN’s camera, and asked him to wear one.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and three other GOP lawmakers took a selfie of themselves standing in the well of the House, bare-faced, using the hashtag #freeyourface.
‘Proud to join these Patriots for a peaceful protest on the House floor against mask mandates!,’ Greene tweeted with the picture.
In April, Greene had also tweeted a video of herself, mask-less, lifting weights, saying, ‘This is my Covid protection.’
Exercise does not prevent the spread of COVID-19.
‘Enough is enough! #FreeYourFace,’ wrote Republican Rep. Mary Miller, who was in the selfie, on Twitter.
‘5 Republican women and 5 Republican men are now maskless on the floor,’ tweeted GOP Rep. Tom Massie.
He was also in Greene’s selfie and organized the protest.
‘We’ve had enough. We are refusing to wear our masks on the floor during this vote in spite of Pelosi’s threat to take $500 from each of us. Her rule is not based on science,’ Massie also tweeted.
After their anti-mask crusade, the Republican lawmakers gathered outside on the steps of the Capitol to celebrate their rebellion.
None of them would tell NBC News if they had been vaccinated.