Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Jan. 12 said people who test negative for COVID-19 shouldn’t have to wear masks, as she defended not wearing one as the Capitol was breached on Jan. 6.
Three Democrats who tested positive for the new disease this week blamed Republicans, including Greene, for contracting the illness.
“It is absolutely ridiculous and insane to blame us,” Greene told Fox News. “[We] did not have COVID or any symptoms.”
COVID-19 is thought to spread through close contact. Public health officials claim asymptomatic people can spread the illness, though little data exist to back up that assertion.
Greene was one of a number of Republicans who were seen on video during the Capitol breach not wearing a mask while sheltering in place with other legislators as authorities dealt with protesters.
“Healthy people do not spread COVID,” Greene told Fox. “COVID-positive people spread COVID.”
Brian Monahan, the House’s attending physician, told members over the weekend that those who cloistered together on Jan. 6 may have contracted COVID-19. He said they should get tested as a precaution.
Four members have since tested positive. Three of the four are Democrats. They blamed Republicans, even Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who herself was shown without a mask during the breach.
“Many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic—creating a superspreader event,” or an event where multiple people contract the new illness, Jayapal said in a statement. She called for fines to be levied on members who refuse to wear masks in the Capitol.
The House on Jan. 12 approved fines for members who refuse to wear masks on the House floor.
Greene took to Twitter to challenge Jayapal, writing: “I hope you fully recover from #COVID19 without any complications! Before you point fingers at me or anyone else, you need to talk directly to [Speaker Nancy Pelosi] about exposing ALL of us to covid when she called back POSITIVE covid House members last week for votes for Speaker!”
Several members, including Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), returned to vote for the speakership after testing positive. Moore had not completed the recommended quarantine period.