WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy traded insults Wednesday, after his criticism of the Capitol Physician’s mask mandate in the House as COVID-19 cases began to soar again.
McCarthy tweeted Tuesday night about the reinstated House mask mandate, saying it was a ploy by Democrats and not “based on science.”
“Make no mistake —The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state,” McCarthy tweeted.
“He’s such a moron,” Pelosi said Wednesday when asked about McCarthy’s disapproval as she was getting into her vehicle outside the Capitol.
McCarthy responded to Pelosi’s insult saying, “If she’s so bright, I’d like to know where the science changes in the Capitol, between the House and the Senate,” referring to the different mask requirements between the chambers.
He also told CNN, “I never think it’s productive when I talk to her,” when asked if he planned on speaking with her.
During her weekly press briefing on Wednesday, Pelosi did not take back her insult, but did not repeat it, instead calling his statement about masks “not wise.”
Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, followed up on the speaker’s comment in a tweet.
“Unfortunately, we can’t verify this audio because of poor quality, but I can confirm that the Speaker believes that saying a mask requirement is ‘not a decision based on science’ is moronic,” Hammill said.
On Tuesday evening Brian Monahan, the House Attending Physician, sent a letter requiring masks to be worn in all House office buildings and committee meetings.
Monahan cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new recommendation that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear masks in indoor spaces as COVID-19 cases continues to surge due to the highly transmissible delta variant as coronavirus vaccine rates decline.
The House mask mandate also comes after President Joe Biden said Tuesday that his administration is considering requiring all federal workers to get vaccinated from COVID as cases increase.