Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are still wearing face masks even after getting vaccinated, and it shows us just how the pandemic rules might stay here for quite some time.
Last week, House Democrats began putting in motion a new rule change to fine members $500 for the first offense and then $2,500 on the second for those who don’t wear face masks.
This proposal was made after the Democrats baselessly blamed maskless Republicans who took shelter in the Capitol bunker during the recent siege of infecting three Democratic lawmakers.
However, the vaccination drive for members of Congress had begun in December. By now, most Congress members and even some of the staff have been allowed to get vaccinated. Even now, face masks remain compulsory on all federal property, following a new president’s new executive order last Wednesday.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has not been sufficient evidence that proves vaccinated individuals cannot spread the virus. Thus, masks remain essential regardless of an individual’s immunity.
“If there is an example of a vaccine in widespread clinical use that has this selective effect — prevents disease but not infection — I can’t think of one!” wrote Harvard Dr. Paul E. Sax.
Dr. Monica Gandhi of the University of California agreed with Sax on Twitter, writing, “Please be assured that YOU ARE SAFE after vaccine from what matters — disease and spreading.”
Still, despite agreeing with Sax’s sentiments, Gandhi continues to urge vaccinated individuals to continue wearing masks.
Some Capitol Hill members still refuse to take the vaccine, either out of skepticism of the vaccine itself or out of insistence that front-liners such as medical workers get vaccinated before they do.