The Slatest

GOP Congressman Suing Pelosi Over Mask Rule Contracts COVID

Lawmakers gather around a podium outside.
Rep. Ralph Norman speaks as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Thomas Massie listen during a news conference outside the Supreme Court on July 27. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina is one of three Republican lawmakers who filed a lawsuit last week against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the mask mandate in the House of Representatives. He has now tested positive for COVID-19. “After experiencing minor symptoms this morning, I sought a COVID-19 test and was just informed the test results were positive,” Norman tweeted. “Thankfully, I have been fully vaccinated and my symptoms remain mild.”

The announcement came a bit more than a week after Norman, along with fellow Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky filed their lawsuit after they were all fined $500 for not wearing masks on the floor of the House of Representatives. The lawsuit came after the House Ethics Committee upheld the fines against the lawmakers for protesting the requirement by not wearing masks during a May vote. The Republicans argued at the time the rules were not in line with guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The House mask mandate was lifted June 11 but reinstated again last week amid a rise in cases fueled by the more contagious delta variant. Norman complained about it on Twitter, saying mandates imposed by the government “represent a harmful combination of virtue signaling and unjustified fear.” Less than 41 percent of South Carolina’s population is fully vaccinated.

Norman is the latest Republican lawmaker to test positive for COVID-19 recently. Reps. Vern Buchanan of Florida and Clay Higgins of Louisiana tested positive in July. And more recently, Sen. Lindsey Graham became the first known senator to contract COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated. The three marked the first known COVID-19 infections among members of Congress since February.

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