Capitol Physician Brian Monahan announced on Sunday that the House of Representatives is lifting its mask mandate on the House floor this week ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
“Individuals may choose to mask at any time, but it is no longer a requirement,” Monahan wrote in a letter to staff last week. The end of the mandate, which was put in place in July during the delta surge of the coronavirus pandemic, comes just in time for the President’s annual address to the nation on Tuesday evening from the Capitol.
Monahan’s letter says other “coronavirus risk reduction measures” would remain in place for the State of The Union address, “with the exception that KN95 or N95 mask wear is no longer required and mask wear is now an individual choice option.”
The CDC on Friday eased its mask guidelines and advised people in areas of low transmission who are fully vaccinated could safely unmask in indoor spaces.
Several Republican lawmakers have skirted the mask mandate, incurring fines for doing so on the House floor. Some lawmakers have had verbal scuffles over masks, with Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) apologizing to Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Oh.) after telling her to “kiss my *ss” when she requested he wear a mask in the House.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK TIMES
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