House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she will continue to require House members to wear masks on the floor of the House chamber, despite updated guidance from the CDC that says it is now safe for fully-vaccinated people to go maskless indoors in most situations.
When asked by CNN congressional reporter Manu Raju if she was lifting the House chamber mask mandate, Pelosi reportedly said she would not.
“No. Are they all vaccinated?” she reportedly said.
The updated guidance released by the CDC on Thursday said that fully-vaccinated individuals (at least two weeks removed from their final dose) no longer need to wear masks or social distance during indoor or outdoor activities. However, the CDC still says that those who have not been vaccinated should continue to wear masks.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi told me “no” she isn’t changing the rule requiring masks on the House floor.— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 13, 2021
“No,” Pelosi said. “Are they all vaccinated?”
According to a CNN report on Friday, 100% of House and Senate Democrats have been vaccinated against COVID-19. According to that same report, while 92% of Republican Senators have been vaccinated, just 45% of Republican House members have gotten their shots.
House Republicans raged against Pelosi’s decision to keep mask mandates in place. On Thursday evening, 34 Republican House members signed a letter urging Pelosi to lift the requirements.
“CDC guidance states fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting except where required by governmental or workplace mandate. It is time to update our own workplace regulations,” the letter read.
In an appearance on Fox News on Thursday, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise claimed that Pelosi’s insistence on masks was “about control.”
“She wants to control the House,” Scalise said, according to the Washington Post.