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Rep. Brian Mast leads Republican revolt against wearing masks on House floor

South Florida congressman says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants 'power and control over the American people'
U.S. Rep. Brian Mast in March 2021
Posted at 4:54 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 16:54:41-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., is leading the Republican revolt when it comes to wearing masks inside the Capitol.

Mast, who is fully vaccinated, told his Republican colleagues Tuesday that he's "done" wearing masks and won't wear them on the House floor anymore, according to a Politico report, even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said last week that she'll continue to require them.

Pelosi's refusal to follow the updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has angered many Republicans.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wears mask on Capitol Hill, May 11, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wears a mask during a photo opportunity on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Washington.

A CNN report earlier this month revealed that 100% of Democrats in Congress have been vaccinated, while 92% of Republican senators and just 45% of Republican House members have gotten their COVID-19 vaccine shots.

"For more than a year, Americans have been told to listen to the scientists about masks," Mast said in a statement to WPTV. "Now the scientists at the CDC are telling us if you are fully vaccinated, you can go about your life without wearing a mask or physically distancing. So, that's what I'm doing. The question you should be asking is why is Speaker Pelosi not? For her, this has never been about science. It's always been about power and control over the American people."

Mast was also vocal about it on Twitter.

Lawmakers face a $500 fine if they don't wear masks on the House floor. The fine for a second offense is $2,500.

Mast represents Florida's 18th congressional district, which includes St. Lucie and Martin County, as well as the northeastern portion of Palm Beach County.