Democrats are threatening to ban Republicans who refuse to wear masks to coronavirus meetings.
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), who chairs the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, sent a letter to ranking member Steve Scalise (R-LA) warning that he and other lawmakers would not be allowed into hearing rooms without face coverings, reported BuzzFeed News.
“Going forward, as long as the Attending Physician’s requirement to wear masks is in place,” Clyburn wrote, “I will not permit any Member of this Subcommittee to participate in-person in any Committee meeting or hearing unless the Member is wearing a mask and strictly adheres to the Attending Physician’s guidance.”
Republican lawmakers have repeatedly ignored recommendations and then a requirement from health experts on Capitol Hill to wear face coverings to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
“For the United States House of Representatives meetings, in a limited and closed space such as a committee hearing room for greater than 15 minutes face coverings are required,” Clyburn told lawmakers Friday, “and we’re not going to have another meeting in a confined space if we’re not going to abide by this. I will stay in the safety of my home as I would ask all you to do.”
Scalise, however, argued that representatives were following social distancing guidelines, so masks weren’t necessary.
“I understand doctors might look at things differently and want to give even extra precautions, but the precautions that have been out there are clearly being followed,” Scalise said.