Republican members of Congress refuse to wear masks during Capitol insurrection

·2 min read
<p>The safe room scene during the US Capitol insurrection.</p><div class="cnn--image__credit"><em><small>Credit: From Punchbowl News/YouTube / Punchbowl News/YouTube</small></em></div>

The safe room scene during the US Capitol insurrection.

Credit: From Punchbowl News/YouTube / Punchbowl News/YouTube

Six House Republicans were captured on video refusing masks offered by a colleague during the US Capitol insurrection on Wednesday.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Delaware Democrat, was shown approaching the group of colleagues and offering blue surgical masks. The video, shot from inside a safe room where the lawmakers gathered during the chaos, was published on Twitter by Punchbowl News.

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, Texas Rep. Michael Cloud and California Rep. Doug LaMalfa were captured unmasked and gathered closely together. They all refused the masks.

Mullin can be heard saying, "I'm not trying to get political here."

Rochester told CNN Friday she was "very concerned we were sitting in a super-spreader event but instead of sitting back and lamenting, I tried to go into action to try and persuade people to put them on."

"By the end of passing them out, I only had one left in my hand offering them to everyone," she said. "I was disappointed in those who didn't accept the masks but was encouraged by those who did. At least we were a little bit safer."

Greene's office responded in a statement to CNN, "Congresswoman Greene is a healthy adult who tested negative for COVID at the White House just this week. She does not believe healthy Americans should be forced to muzzle themselves with a mask. America needs to reopen and get back to normal."

The others did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

In an interview with McClatchy news service Friday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield warned that the US Capitol riot on Wednesday was likely a coronavirus "surge event" and "is going to have public health consequences."

"I do think you have to anticipate that this is another surge event. You had largely unmasked individuals in a non-distanced fashion, who were all through the Capitol," Redfield told McClatchy.

CNN's Kristin Wilson contributed to this report.

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