Democrats were slammed for their hypocrisy in ignoring coronavirus guidelines as the House of Representatives met and re-elected Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.
The California Democrat was narrowly re-elected for her fourth term as Speaker of the House on Sunday, getting 216 votes with five Democrats voting for another candidate or “present.” But the addition of a plexiglass enclosure in the chamber to ensure Pelosi got every vote she could, including from one member who tested positive for COVID-19 less than one week ago, sparked harsh criticism.
U.S. Representative Rodney Davis blasted the “shameful” move and the “lack of communication with the Minority” that made it “100% political.”
“This is completely against everything we’re told throughout this entire pandemic for house operations,” the Illinois Republican and House Administration Committee ranking-member told reporters on Sunday. “To build a structure like that in the dark of night, to only protect the votes that Speaker Pelosi needs to get elected speaker, is shameful.”
The Capitol physician noted in a statement that the so-called plexiglass “holding facility,” erected in the House visitor’s gallery with “the highest possible safeguards,” was to allow lawmakers in quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 “to fulfill their Constitutional duties.”
While Democrat Reps. Frederica Wilson of Florida and Tim Ryan of Ohio, as well as Nebraska Republican Jeff Fortenberry, joined the proceedings after a recent negative coronavirus test, they were reportedly still supposed to be in quarantine.
Official vote tally as Pelosi keeps the gavel —> https://t.co/s2LbgG6vOh
— Emily Cochrane (@ESCochrane) January 3, 2021
With Pelosi needing every vote she could get to secure her position as speaker, Rep. Gwen Moore arrived in-person to join her Democrat colleagues, despite recently testing positive for COVID-19.
“I tested positive for COVID-19,” Moore tweeted last week. “I am following guidance from my doctor and am isolating from others. I am thankful to be feeling well. And I do not foresee this disrupting my work for Wisconsin’s Fourth.”
I tested positive for COVID-19. I am following guidance from my doctor and am isolating from others. I am thankful to be feeling well. And I do not foresee this disrupting my work for Wisconsin’s Fourth.
— Rep. Gwen Moore (@RepGwenMoore) December 28, 2020
On Sunday, the Wisconsin Democrat announced her “quarantine is over” and she was cleared to travel.
Thank you all for the well wishes. I am feeling good! My quarantine is over and I am medically cleared to travel and work on behalf of Wisconsin’s Fourth Congressional District.
— Rep. Gwen Moore (@RepGwenMoore) January 3, 2021
Politico reporter Olivia Beavers tweeted that Moore has not tested negative for COVID-19.
@RepGwenMoore told me outside House floor that she hasn’t received a negative Covid test after she announced last week she had tested positive, but says she has followed CDC guidelines to quarantine for 2 weeks + she has listened to advice of her doc who said she could come today
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) January 3, 2021
Social-distancing rules also seemed to be forgotten as House members were present in-person to be sworn in.
— Lindsey McPherson (@lindsemcpherson) January 4, 2021
“Travel to Washington, DC at this time should be undertaken only by those individuals with official duties in Washington DC,” Dr. Brian Monahan, Capitol Hill’s top doctor, warned in guidance before the new session of Congress which also required lawmakers and staff to have a negative COVID-19 test before arrival in Washington, D.C., according to ABC News.
“Accompanying family member travel is highly likely to involve significant hardships and disease exposure risks that are best avoided,” he wrote, as ABC News noted that “many new members were spotted with friends and family members around the Capitol” anyway.
The scene inside the lower chamber set off a wave of criticism over the hypocrisy of Democrats.
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) January 3, 2021
and now that the masses have been sworn in, there is a bottleneck of people racing to leave. barely an attempt to distance. Barely.
— Emily Cochrane (@ESCochrane) January 3, 2021
When Republican Senators returned to participate in a Supreme Court confirmation *after the appropriate 10 days of quarantine* all we heard about (from media and Democrats) was that they putting everyone at risk.
But this is Pelosi so it’ll get a solid pass.
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) January 3, 2021
LOL! The usual, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
— 19_mo_86 (@19_mo_86) January 4, 2021
But social distancing! 🤦♂️
— Red Dot in a Blue Dot in a Red State (@reddotinaustin) January 4, 2021
This is the French aristocracy, pre-revolution. Restaurants have to close but this 💩 is just fine🤦♀️
— DrCherryPi (@broken_cherrypi) January 4, 2021
I believe we call this a superspreader event, right @SpeakerPelosi? Especially considering you insisted on having covid+ members present! But I’m sure we’ll hear how this is all the fault of Republicans soon enough.
— It’s all ball bearings nowadays! (@7th_FetzerValve) January 4, 2021
I’m sorry–this image is an insult to every single small business owner (restaurants, etc.) whose business has closed or been ruined over the past several months due to COVID restrictions.
The American people are not stupid. They will see through this hypocrisy. https://t.co/0eUcL0Yhxe
— John M. Reeves (@reeveslawstl) January 4, 2021
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