Story at a glance

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi will require members and staff to continue wearing masks on the House floor, despite CDC guidance saying fully vaccinated people may congregate indoors without them.
  • Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill told Bloomberg the Speaker is keeping the guidelines because the number of vaccinated house members and staff is unknown.
  • CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced Thursday that fully vaccinated people can gather at indoor gatherings “large or small” without masks.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will require members and staffers to continue wearing masks on the House floor, despite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance saying fully vaccinated people may congregate indoors without them. 

Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill told Bloomberg the Speaker is keeping the guidelines because the number of vaccinated House members and staff is unknown. Pelosi issued the House floor mask mandate last year when some Republican members declined to wear face coverings, according to the outlet. 

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky announced Thursday that fully vaccinated people can gather at indoor gatherings “large or small” without masks.

“If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” Walensky said. “We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.”


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Pelosi said last month the number of vaccinated members sits near 75 percent, The Hill previously reported. The speaker added at the press conference that vote times could be shorter if people get their shots. 

"The Republicans come up to me and say, 'Let's shorten the time for votes, let's shorten the time for votes.' I said, 'Well, tell your friends to get vaccinated,' " Pelosi said 

"That would help — that would help a lot," Pelosi added. 

But she said due to privacy laws she did not know which members had not received their shots. 

President Biden praised the success of the nationwide vaccination plan Thursday, adding that the new CDC guidance marks a “great day” for the nation. 

“I think it’s a great milestone, a great day,” Biden said from the White House. “It’s been made possible by the extraordinary success we’ve had in vaccinating so many Americans so quickly.”

CDC data shows that nearly 59 percent of all U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine dose, while more than 35 percent have been fully vaccinated. 


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Published on May 14, 2021