Lawmakers debate necessity of a mask mandate in Congress


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As more members of Congress test positive for COVID-19, some lawmakers are calling for a mask mandate on Capitol Hill.

“This is something we shouldn’t even be debating about,” Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.) said.

Evans says he supports the idea and questions why anyone would disagree.

“I never understood this debate. I never understood why people were trying to prove how macho they are,” Evans said.

But Republicans, like Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), say forcing members to wear a mask is unnecessary.

“I think that it should be up to each individual member of Congress. I don’t think that we should be at a point where we have to be told what to do,” Wittman said.

Wittman says he supports mask-wearing but says every member of Congress should be allowed to make their own decision.

“We’ve been given clear direction from the House [of Representatives] physician, we’ve been given clear direction from the CDC, we know what each of us can do to protect ourselves and others,” Wittman said.

But Evans says some lawmakers are careless and are not setting a good example, as the House focuses on passing a much need COVID-19 relief bill.

“You certainly can’t do anything if you don’t take care of your health,” Evans said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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