Fights over Covid-19 mask mandates have spread from Main Street America to the halls of Congress, where a Democrat lawmaker is blaming Republican colleagues for his positive virus test because they failed to wear face coverings.
Representative Raul Grijalva said Saturday that some Republican lawmakers are failing to take the pandemic seriously, putting others at risk. “Numerous Republican members routinely strut around the Capital without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff and their families,” Grijalva said.
His accusations follow flare-ups in congressional hearings in the past week, with Democrats demanding that Republican members wear masks. One of the most high-profile spats came at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on July 28, when Chairman Jerry Nadler scolded three Republican members who were pulling down their masks to drink coffee or take their turns questioning Attorney General William Barr. Nadler pulled down his own mask to chide them, leading to ridicule.
Grijalva, who is asymptomatic, learned of his diagnosis Friday evening. He had been isolating himself since Wednesday, after learning that Republican Representative Louie Gohmert had tested positive for the virus. Grijalva attended a hearing on Tuesday with Gohmert.
Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain died Thursday after being hospitalized with coronavirus on July 1. Democrats, including Representative Maxine Waters, were quick to politicize his death. Waters said Cain contracted the virus because he attended a rally for President Donald Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, without wearing a mask, although it’s unclear if that was really where he got infected.
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