Pelosi Announces Mandatory Mask Policy for House of Representatives

Pelosi Announces Mandatory Mask Policy for House of Representatives
House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in Washington on May 5, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that members of the House of Representatives will have to wear a mask starting Wednesday after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) tested positive for COVID-19.

"Members and staff will be required to wear masks in the halls of the House," Pelosi said on the House floor, adding that members and staffers won't be allowed in the House Chamber without a mask.

"The chair would also like to remind members that the speaker has the authority to direct the sergeant at arms to remove a member from the floor as a matter of decorum," the California Democrat said. "To reiterate, the chair views the failure to wear a mask as a serious breach of decorum."

Gohmert, 66, confirmed his COVID-19 diagnosis on Wednesday in a video, saying he was tested twice for the virus, with both coming back positive. The lawmaker said he is asymptomatic, and suggested that he could have contracted the virus while he was wearing a mask.

"It is interesting, and I don't know about everybody, but when I have a mask on, I'm moving it to make it comfortable, and I can't help but wonder if that puts some germs in the mask," Gohmert said in the video. Previously, Gohmert was sometimes seen not wearing a mask inside the chamber.

Earlier this year, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tested positive for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah) also have tested positive.

Following Gohmert's confirmation, Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) announced she would be self-quarantining after interactions with Gohmert in recent days.

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