WASHINGTON: A member of the House Republican leadership is falsely alleging that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants people arrested if they refuse to wear masks inside campus.
Pelosi does not direct law enforcement in the House, and Capitol police officers, who do, are not threatening to arrest masked protestors. Instead, staff members and visitors who will not wear masks will be asked to leave.
New York Representative Alice Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, retweeted the false allegation to her 227,000 Twitter followers, calling Pelosi authoritarian and saying she should be shut down. This gave wide visibility to the allegations made by Florida Rep. Kat Camac, who has only 13,000 followers.
CAMMACK Tweet: “In today’s edition of Pelosys’ abuse of power, Capitol Police are directed to arrest employees and visitors for complying with its mask mandate for vaccinated individuals. To members, they advise not arrest the members but report them to the SAA (House Sergeant at Arms) for their failure to comply.
Fact: This is not Pelosi’s mask mandate and it is incorrect to say that Capitol police have been directed to arrest employees and visitors who will not wear masks.
The Capitol Police Force is overseen by a board made up of three nonpartisan officers: House Sergeant at Arms, Senate Sergeant at Arms, and Capitol Architect. The need for masks in most situations inside the House was decided by another non-partisan official, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician in the House.
In response to the tweet, Capital Police said in a statement that there is no reason why anyone should be arrested. Anyone who does not follow the rules will be asked to wear a mask or step out of the premises.
The force’s guidance posted in the tweet stated that members of Congress and their accompanying staff members should not be arrested for failing to comply, but reported to the sergeant on the hammer. Visitors as well as other staff members should be asked to leave. Only if they refuse to leave will they be arrested, the guidance states, and that will be for unlawful entry.
The mask rule was reinstated this week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that masks be worn in indoor public places in parts of the country with substantial coronavirus infections, which is operated by Delta Edition. The recommendations apply to both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people.
House physician Monahan also did not threaten arrest. He noted that Congress is a collection of people who travel frequently from different at-risk areas, that the delta variant can be transmitted from vaccinated people and that it has been found among those in the Capitol.
The Senate, much less crowded than the House, has not established a mask mandate. Capitol police officers must wear them.
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