Pelosi Mandates Masks in the House of Representatives
As the polarizing debate over wearing a mask to stop the spread of the Coronavirus continues, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday that the wearing of masks will be mandatory in the House and its Hall. Members must be masked at all times unless they are speaking after official recognition on the House floor.
Her announcement came just as the news broke that Texas Republican Louie Gohmert had tested positive for COVID19 before he was about to board Air Force One for a flight to his home state for a campaign appearance with Donald Trump. And with today’s news that Herman Cain, who famously refused to wear a mask at Trump’s Tulsa rally, has died from the coronavirus, Pelosi’s mandate seems more urgent.
“Members and staff will be required to wear masks at all times in the Hall of the House except that members may remove their masks temporarily when recognized,” Pelosi said. “The Chair expects all members and staff to adhere to this requirement as a sign of respect to the health, safety, and well being of others present in the chamber and surrounding areas.”
Members and staff will not be allowed to enter if they don’t wear masks. Pelosi noted that as Speaker, she has the authority to direct the House sergeant-at-arms to tell members to leave if they do not wear a mask.