August 1, 2021

Face masks no longer mandated on House floor for those fully vaccinated

Home members, employees and guests can go maskless in inside areas if they’ve been absolutely vaccinated, in keeping with up to date steerage despatched out Friday from Congress’ attending doctor, Dr. Brian Monahan.

People who aren’t absolutely vaccinated will nonetheless be required to put on a masks and socially distance.

The lower of neighborhood transmission and the rise within the price of vaccinations led to this announcement, a senior Democratic aide advised CNN, with the Capitol Hill advanced now at an 85% vaccination price.

In accordance with a CNN survey from Might, 100% of congressional Democrats and 92% of Senate Republicans had been vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19, whereas solely 44.8% of Home Republicans had been.
Throughout the top of the pandemic final 12 months, Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi mandated that each one members and aides put on masks within the halls of the Home besides when they’re talking, after a Home GOP member examined optimistic for Covid-19.

Whereas the Senate selected to not implement any masks necessities, the Home’s masks guidelines grew to become a rising flashpoint amongst its members.

The US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention up to date its steerage on Might 13 in order that absolutely vaccinated Individuals don’t have to put on masks or apply social distancing indoors or outside, besides below sure circumstances.
Regardless of the up to date CDC steerage, Monahan knowledgeable members that very same day that masks nonetheless needed to be worn on the Home flooring. Pelosi mentioned then that the chamber would hold its masks guidelines in place till extra members of Congress had been vaccinated.
That led a handful of Republican lawmakers to purposely flout the Home masks guidelines, leading to them getting slapped with a mixture of fines and warnings for his or her defiance. Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy additionally tried unsuccessfully to raise the mandate.
However even effectively earlier than the CDC had up to date its steerage, some Home Republicans refused to put on masks final 12 months, arguing that they’re uncomfortable, laborious to speak in or, as Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins advised CNN, carrying masks is “a part of the dehumanization of the kids of God.”

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