Republican congressman suing Pelosi over being forced to wear a mask has caught Covid

Fully vaccinated lawmaker called face coverings a form of ‘virtue signalling’ before falling ill

Gino Spocchia
Friday 06 August 2021 17:31 BST
Rep Ralph Norman
Rep Ralph Norman (EPA)

A Republican congressman who is suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a mask mandate in Congress has caught Covid.

Ralph Norman, who is among three House Republicans suing the Democrat for asking members of the House to wear masks — as a form of protection against the virus – admitted on Thursday that he had been infected.

“After experiencing minor symptoms this morning, I sought a Covid-19 test and was just informed the test results were positive,” the Republican wrote in a statement. “Thankfully, I have been fully vaccinated and my symptoms remain mild.”

The South Carolina congressman added that he will continue to “work virtually while in quarantine for the next 10 days”.

Last week, Mr Norman and House Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene and Thomas Massie filed a lawsuit against Ms Pelosi for a mask mandate first introduced in January, and reimposed last week amid a surge in Covid infections.

Ms Pelosi had angered House Republicans by continuing with the mask mandate, before it was dropped at the start of June, when more members were fully vaccinated against Covid.

The rules were then reintroduced following updated recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control last month, amid warnings of the more infectious Delta variant of Covid.

The lawsuit also alleged that fines for not wearing masks were unconstitutional after all three were forced to pay $500 (£359) for being on the House floor without a covering. A second offence would have carried a fine of $2,500 (£1,796), under rules voted on by the House in January.

Mr Norman had tweeted last week: “Government-imposed mask mandates represent a harmful combination of virtue signalling and unjustified fear.”

According to the CDC, wearing a mask reduces the chances of transmitting Covid to others, while being fully vaccinated is enough to stop severe illness – but may not prevent transmission.

Mr Norman’s office has been approached for comment by The Independent.

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