U.S. Capitol Police said Thursday there was “no reason” to arrest visitors and staff who refused to comply with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s renewed tenure. on the COVID-19 mask.
The latest face-covering rage began after Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) Tweeted a copy of a police bulletin stating, “If a visitor or staff member does not wear a mask after a request to do so, the visitor or staff will be refused entry to House office buildings or the house side of the United States Capitol. Anyone who does not comply or does not leave the premises after being asked to do so would be subject to arrest for illegal entry.
The document was dated Wednesday and is expected to remain in effect for the remainder of the year.
“In today’s edition of Pelosi’s Abuse of Power, Capitol Police were tasked with arresting staff and visitors to comply with their mandate to mask those vaccinated,” Cammack tweeted.
“Regarding the house mask rule, there is no reason for anyone to be arrested,” Capitol Police said hours later in a statement on Twitter. “Anyone who does not respect the rules will be asked to wear a mask or to leave the premises. “
Pelosi (D-Calif.) Re-enacted the House’s indoor mask requirement on Tuesday, even though DC health officials had not. Pelosi’s decision closely followed the White House’s decision on Tuesday to re-enact an indoor mask mandate.
Members of Congress and accompanying assistants who break the new rule will not be arrested, but will be reported to House leaders, who will cash their wages with fines of $ 500.
The Constitution states that members of Congress are “privileged of arrest” in most cases on Capitol Hill. The original police bulletin did not ask officers to arrest or report unmasked people on the Senate side of the Capitol, where masks remain voluntary.
Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said Thursday afternoon the city will also reimpose a rule on indoor masks for all people, including those who have been vaccinated against the virus, effective Saturday. .
Most lawmakers and residents of DC are vaccinated against COVID-19, but the number of new cases in DC is increasing, especially in poorer areas on the outskirts of the capital, where authorities are trying to encourage shots with $ 51 Visa gift cards.
According to DC government data, about 63 percent of the city’s residents have received at least one shot of the vaccine and about 54 percent are fully immunized.
Minority parliamentary leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Tore Pelosi to pieces on Wednesday for his “hypocrisy” after she called him an “idiot” for resisting his new term as a mask.
“Twice today I saw the speaker in a crowded room without a mask, less than 24 hours after imposing the mask warrant,” McCarthy said in a speech in the House.
McCarthy said that “what frustrates Americans the most is hypocrisy” and he took a hit at Pelosi’s infamous no-mask haircut amid the pandemic.
“It’s kind of like telling America you can’t have your hair cut, but you’re on camera because you do,” McCarthy said.
The CDC on Tuesday announced new guidelines on wearing indoor masks as cases of COVID-19 increase due to the Delta variant of the virus, especially in areas with lower vaccination rates.
The agency said regions with higher transmission rates should consider imposing indoor mask warrants, even on those vaccinated.
New data on Tuesday afternoon showed DC fell into the CDC’s “substantial” transmission range – meaning local authorities are being encouraged to consider indoor mask rules – with a total of seven days to go. ‘just over 50 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.