- Pelosi called McCarthy a “moron” over his criticism of a reimposed mask mandate in the House.
- McCarthy said on Twitter that the mask mandate is “not a decision based on science.”
- The Capitol’s attending physician reimposed the mandate as the Delta variant spreads across the US.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday referred to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as a “moron” in response to his criticism of the House reinstituting a mask mandate.
The Capitol’s attending physician reimposed the mandate as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads across the US, and as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance on wearing masks in response to the threat.
Pelosi told reporters the mandate is the “the purview of the Capitol physician … nothing to say except we honor it.”
When a reporter noted that McCarthy said the mask mandate is against science, the House Speaker can be heard in a video clip saying: “He’s such a moron.”
—Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) July 28, 2021
Drew Hammill, the House Speaker’s deputy chief of staff, addressed Pelosi’s remarks on the GOP leader in a tweet.
“Unfortunately, we can’t verify this audio because of poor quality, but I can confirm that the Speaker believes that saying a mask requirement is ‘not a decision based on science’ is moronic,” Hammill said.
In a tweet on Tuesday night, McCarthy expressed opposition to the mask mandate.
“Make no mistake — The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state,” McCarthy said.
Public health experts and officials have repeatedly said the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and virus-related deaths has been driven by unvaccinated people.
As GOP politicians like McCarthy continue to push against public health recommendations, which has been a pattern with Republican politicians throughout the pandemic, Republican voters continue to show high rates of vaccine hesitancy. That said, a number of Republican governors in recent weeks have implored people to get vaccinated as the party faces growing pressure to convince skeptics to get the shot.