U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) threw a mask back at a Democratic House staffer on Wednesday after being handed one after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reimposed a facial covering mandate as COVID-19 infections rise around the country, according to reports.
The freshman firebrand would go on to tweet about the reported incident some hours later, noting, “The same Democrat staffer who tried to hand me that face muzzle just tried to voice vote on our motion to adjourn.”
In another post, Boebert lashed out at Pelosi’s reimposition of the House mask mandate, calling it “anti-science” and “totalitarian.”
Later, Boebert posted a video of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaking on the House floor in pushing back on Pelosi’s mandate, writing, “Pelosi’s partisan hack doctor knew the data he used to support the mask mandate came from an unpublished study that he hasn’t seen. What he didn’t know is the report is from India on a vaccine that isn’t approved in America. Any other physician would be charged with malpractice.”
Pelosi’s partisan hack doctor knew the data he used to support the mask mandate came from an unpublished study that he hasn’t seen. What he didn’t know is the report is from India on a vaccine that isn't approved in America.
Any other physician would be charged with malpractice. pic.twitter.com/pa9Z9so6NQ
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) July 28, 2021
In another tweet, she wrote, “Mask mandates are even dumber now than they were the first time around.”
Sarah Ferris of Politico and Ben Siegel of ABC News first reported on Boebert throwing the mask back at the Democratic staffer, though it doesn’t appear as if they witnessed the act personally based on their reporting.
“Wow. GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert just threw a mask in the face of a floor staffer when she came to the floor not wearing one, per someone watching the exchange,” Ferris wrote in a tweet.
“Rep. Lauren Boebert just threw a mask back at a Democratic floor staffer who tried to give her one, per source on the House floor who saw it happen,” added Siegel on Twitter as well.
Pelosi reinstated the mask mandate after congressional physician Dr. Brian P. Monahan issued a memo late Tuesday evening recommending a new one be implemented amid rising Delta variant infections around the country, which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention administration Dr. Rochelle Walensky has said is occurring overwhelmingly among unvaccinated Americans.
“For all House Office Buildings, the Hall of the House, and House Committee Meetings, wearing of a well-fitted, medical grade, filtration face mask is required when an individual is in an interior space and other individuals are present,” Monahan wrote.
As for Walensky, the CDC also changed its mask-wearing guidance earlier this week, which was also in response to a rise in Delta variant cases. In an interview on CNN Wednesday, Walensky explained that some “breakthrough” cases — that is, when vaccinated people become infected with COVID-19 — made the change necessary.
“The science that prompted [the] guidance is just days old, and in the coming days you will actually see the published information on the science that motivated” the sudden change, she told “New Day” co-host John Berman, who had asked “why the hell” vaccinated people should have to “pay the price” for unvaccinated Americans.
Other Republicans clapped back at Pelosi’s renewed mask mandate, including McCarthy.
“Make no mistake – The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state,” he wrote Wednesday.
Make no mistake—The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 28, 2021
In addition, several Republican governors have already pushed back on the new CDC mask guidance, with some arguing they don’t believe it is science-based.
“The CDC’s new guidance suggesting that vaccinated people wear masks indoors flies in the face of the public health goals that should guide the agency’s decision making,” said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts in a statement. “It’s time for the CDC and the government to get out of the way, and to stop trying to tell people how to live their lives.”
“The CDC shifts their position AGAIN,” wrote South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who never shut down her state last year during the initial COVID-19 pandemic.
“South Dakota’s cases remain low. If you’re worried about the virus, you’re free to get vaccinated, wear a mask, or stay at home. But we won’t be mandating anything. And the CDC’s inconsistency doesn’t help the American people,” she added.
“I’m concerned that this new guidance will be used as a vehicle to mandate masks in states and schools across the country, something I do not support,” said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in a tweet.
“Arizona does not allow mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports or discrimination in schools based on who is or isn’t vaccinated. We’ve passed all of this into law, and it will not change,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey added.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott noted: “The time for government mask mandates is over—now is the time for personal responsibility. In May, I signed an executive order prohibiting mask mandates by gov’t entities. Every Texan has the right to choose whether they will wear a mask or have their children wear masks.”
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