Republicans balking at Pelosi’s continued House mask requirements – despite new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – called out the Democratic leader for a double standard.
“This is the definition of hypocrisy,” Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., told “Fox and Friends” on Friday. Green, a veteran, West Point graduate and physician, is among the several GOP lawmakers fined $500 this week for not wearing a mask on the House floor. Subsequent violations could reach $2,500.
“Leadership 101 at West Point for me 35 years ago, the first thing they teach you is you never ask people to do something you as the leader aren’t willing to do,” Green said. “And here she is in the House at the speaker’s rostrum, not wearing a mask. She goes to the White House, not wearing a mask.”
Pelosi went maskless Thursday at the White House during an East Room celebration to sign a new COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act into law with President Biden. She was spotted hugging and mingling freely at the event and did not observe social distancing protocols.
A spokesperson for Pelosi noted that the official White House guidance for the event said that fully vaccinated guests would not be required to wear masks or socially distance. Non-vaccinated guests were asked to wear masks and keep their distance from others. White House guests were also tested for coronavirus before entering the event.
“The Speaker was required to attest to her vaccination status and required to submit a negative test result in order to attend this event,” Drew Hammill, spokesperson for Pelosi, told Fox News.
The CDC issued new guidance last week saying that masks are not necessary for fully vaccinated people in most circumstances. While the White House followed by lifting its mask requirement, the House did not. Pelosi has relaxed mask guidance so that members could take their face covering off when they were recognized to speak on the floor.
Meanwhile, there is no mask rule in the Senate chamber.
Pelosi and the Capitol Attending Physician Dr. Brian Monahan have said the House mask requirement will remain unchanged until all House members are fully vaccinated. She previously estimated that about 75% of House members have gotten the coronavirus shots and said if Republicans want to go maskless on the House floor they need to encourage their colleagues to get jabbed.
“We have a responsibility to make sure that the House of the Representatives Chamber is not a petri dish because of the selfishness of some not to be vaccinated,” Pelosi said Thursday.
But some Republicans have openly ditched their masks this week and have faced fines of $500 apiece for violating the coronavirus rules that require mask-wearing in the chamber unless they are formally addressing Congress. Some who have been fined say they are fully vaccinated and just following the CDC guidance, but others have declined to say whether they have gotten the shots and, in some cases, have raised safety and ethical concerns about the vaccinations.
Green accused Pelosi of ignoring the updated science.
“It’s just harassment, basically,” he said.