Pelosi: Unvaccinated Lawmakers 'Are Selfishly a Dangerment to Other People'

By Susan Jones | May 21, 2021 | 5:54am EDT
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) doesn't wear a mask when speaking in public. (Photo by JABIN BOTSFORD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) doesn't wear a mask when speaking in public. (Photo by JABIN BOTSFORD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

( - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said unvaccinated lawmakers are selfish, and she suggested they eventually may be required to vote from the House gallery instead of the House floor.

Pelosi, at her Thursday news conference, repeated that the House will be guided by the advice of the attending physician, who says lawmakers and staff must continue to wear masks in meetings and on the House floor.

"And so that's what we are doing," she said.

Pelosi said she doesn't know how many unvaccinated lawmakers are out there because "I shouldn't know. It's -- it's their their personal business. But, until they -- as the doctor said -- until they are vaccinated, we cannot have meetings without masks."

Pelosi said those who refuse vaccines "are selfishly a dangerment to other people, including staff people here."

So, while we're all hopeful, and I join the president in being hopeful that we can reach a place where it is safe for people to be--what is this, the honor system? The honor system as to whether somebody's been vaccinated. Do you want them breathing in your face on the strength of their honor? So, let--let's just see. Let's just see.

I mean, again, we have--this is about science and governance. And science and governance, we have a responsibility to make sure that the House of the Representatives chamber is not a petri dish for--because of the selfishness of some not to be vaccinated or to insist--or to wear a mas--or--because it requires us to wear a mask.

I mean, we could come to a place where we say, if you don't want to wear a mask, and you don't want to--if you're not vaccinated, don't even come to the floor. We have facilities up above in the--in the gallery where people can come to vote.

We don't want to deter anybody's ability to exercise their constitutional duties. We have that responsibility as well. So, we're trying to balance everybody being able to exercise their cons--his or her constitutional duties, as well as, protect the secure--the staff and the other members.

Now, as--I know a lot of things as Speaker of the House, I know a lot of things. And I know a lot about people's predispositions, and the rest, because they share them with me. And I have to make judgments based on what the vulnerability are of our members as well. But it's not a, shall we say, subjective decision. The attending physician has said, until everybody's vaccinated, we wear masks.

Pelosi said she's hoping the new CDC guidance will encourage people to get vaccinated. "We want to get through this as soon as possible. You, I mean, does anybody feel like wearing a mask? So, no, no, we all want to get through this," she said.

In a May 13 update, the CDC said fully vaccinated people can "resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."

Dr. Anthony Fauci said last week that "There will always be breakthrough infections," where vaccinated people do contract COVID. But he called it a "very rare event," adding, "If you do get infected, the chances are that you're going to be without symptoms, and the chances are very likely that you'll not be able to transmit it to other people."

Also See:
Republican Lawmaker Defies Pelosi: 'I'm Not Putting Another Mask On'

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