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Nancy Pelosi maintains COVID-19 protocols in House
Even with more Americans getting vaccinated for COVID-19, protocols are still in place in order to further lower the infection rates. These would especially apply to the House, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that COVID-19 measures will remain in place.
Pelosi announced through a statement Monday that the Office of the Attending Physician is still encouraging members of Congress to adhere to the coronavirus protocols in the chamber despite already getting vaccinated.
Members of Congress are to remain wearing face masks and practice social distancing along with other measures needed to prevent contracting coronavirus in the workplace. House members who have not received the vaccine yet were also advised to do so.
“This information will inform future recommendations the OAP may have regarding the modification or relaxation of existing social distancing guidelines, revising/accelerating the cohort House floor voting procedures and other aspects of Congressional operations involving committee meetings and reopening of other processes,” said attending physician for Congress Dr. Brian Monaghan through Pelosi’s statement. “The more people that are vaccinated, the quicker we can return to normal.”
The announcement from Pelosi’s office comes as House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy penned a letter asking about Pelosi’s plans to reopen the House. In the letter, McCarthy cited the recent easing of restrictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention especially as more and more Americans are being vaccinated.
Since March 10, around 75 percent of Congressmembers have been vaccinated, according to McCarthy’s letter. It should also be noted that Congress has had early access to the COVID-19 vaccine since December.
Reopening quickly is the goal set to be achieved by the Biden administration due to the passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The passing of the bill that was signed into law last week was done on party lines without any Republicans supporting the bill. Last week, prior to the House voting on the final version of the bill, Pelosi predicted that while the bill would not receive GOP support among the House, those same lawmakers will attempt to take credit for this achievement.
“I might say for our Republican colleagues who -- they say no to the vote, and they show up at the ribbon-cuttings or the presentations,” said the House Speaker.