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The Colorado representative was allegedly seen on Wednesday being handed the face mask, before throwing it back in the face of a Democrat floor staffer, according to reports from journalists present.
It follows the reintroduction of a face mask mandate in Congress on Tuesday, after the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended masks for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated when indoors, because of a rise in Covid infections.
“Rep Lauren Boebert just threw a mask back at a Democratic floor staffer who tried to give her one, per source on the House floor who saw it happen,” tweeted ABC News’ Ben Siegel shortly after the incident unfolded on Wednesday. “As of last night, the latest House guidance requires mask wearing on the floor and in most group meetings/spaces.”
CNN’s Manu Raju also tweeted: “A witness told me they saw GOP Rep Lauren Boebert throw a mask back at a floor staffer when she was offered one while trying to walk onto the floor maskless.” Ms Boebert’s office allegedly told Mr Raju that she “refuses to comply with Speaker Pelosi’s anti-science, totalitarian mask mandate”.
It added that “when offered a mask, she returned it with a quick slide across the table”.
Kevin McCarthy, the Republican minority leader in the House, led the fight back against face masks on Tuesday following the reissuing of mandates from the CDC and the attending physician in Congress. As CNN reported, Mr McCarthy falsely accused the recommendations as being “not a decision based on science”.
Ms Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker, told reporters on Wednesday that Mr McCarthy was a "moron" for disagreeing with the CDC’s advice, and that of the attending physician,
Republican allies of Donald Trump, including Mr McCarthy and Ms Boebert, have been vocal with their criticism of face coverings, which the former president said in a statement on Tuesday not to “surrender” to – despite studies finding that masks reduce transmission of Covid.
Chip Roy, another outspoken member of the Republican Party, called for the chamber to be “shut down” over the rules on Wednesday morning, in a wild and raging speech.
Under the rules, members of the House who do not wear masks on the floor and in meetings can be fined.
The Independent has approached Ms Boebert’s office for further comment.