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Top House Democrat Says Masks Required for Covid Subcommittee Hearings: ‘Will Not Recognize’ Anyone Not Wearing

Congressman James Clyburn (D- SC), the chairman of the House subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, said that members who do not wear masks to hearings will not be recognized during those hearings.

In a letter to ranking committee Republican Steve Scalise (LA) Monday, Clyburn wrote that he has “profound disappointment” in Republicans on the committee for “refus[ing] to wear masks” during a hearing last week and reemphasizing that “masks save lives.”

“Wearing masks at indoor gatherings is strongly encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the attending physician of the Congress has issued clear, unequivocal guidelines that require members to wear masks at all committee hearings,” he continued.

And Clyburn even warned that he would not recognize any member who does not wear a mask during hearings:

My Republican colleagues’ refusal to wear masks is perplexing because you have asked repeatedly to hold in-person hearings, and you assured me that this could be done safely. In response, I told you that I would work in good faith to hold in-person hearings if we could do so safely and consistent with the Attending Physician’s guidelines.

I was true to my word—I held this hearing in person, as you requested. Unfortunately, the Republican members’ refusal to wear masks undermined the safety of everyone in the hearing room.

Going forward, as long as the Attending Physician’s requirement to wear masks is in place, I will not recognize any member of this Subcommittee to participate in person in any Subcommittee meeting or hearing unless the Member is wearing a mask and strictly adheres to the Attending Physician’s guidance.

He added that members who do not want to wear masks may participate remotely.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac