House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her cohort of Democratic lawmakers have long advocated for strict rules on Capitol Hill in hopes of containing the spread of the coronavirus. But it seems those rules don’t apply when it’s not convenient for the longtime San Francisco Dem.
Facing a tough race to retain her title as speaker, Pelosi allowed Democrat Rep. Gwen Moore (WI) to travel to Washington to cast her vote in-person Sunday, despite the fact that Moore had tested positive for COVID-19 less than a week earlier, Breitbart reported.
The Washington Examiner reported ahead of the vote that Moore had been expected to be in D.C. to support Pelosi. Lawmakers were required to be physically present to weigh in on the speakership rather than vote by proxy, as has been allowed in many cases due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Isolating from others”
It all comes despite the fact that Moore had released a statement just last week, on Dec. 28, indicating that she had tested positive for the disease.
“I tested positive for COVID-19,” the congresswoman announced. “I am following guidance from my doctor and am isolating from others.” She went on:
I encourage every person to continue taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing.
As the Examiner noted, guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise that “individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to it should quarantine for 7-10 days.” Despite that, Moore and at least two other lawmakers who had been exposed to COVID-19 — one of whom was Republican — were on Capitol Hill to cast their votes Sunday, Breitbart reported.
Republicans decry double standard
The hypocrisy on Pelosi’s part didn’t go unnoticed by Republicans, including Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman, who wrote in a tweet ahead of the vote: “Looks like [Pelosi’s] proxy voting and remote hearing measures are only essential when her leadership position isn’t on the line.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told The Hill before the vote that it “would be wrong” for Pelosi to allow Moore to appear despite her diagnosis. “I mean, we have two members who have COVID and we kept them home,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine that she [Pelosi] would bring somebody in here that could cause people problems.”
The Hill reported Sunday that the attending physician of the United States Congress, Dr. Brian Monahan, had set up a “secure enclosure” where House members who were under quarantine could “fulfill their Constitutional duties.”
Pelosi wins speakership
With Monahan’s help, it seems Pelosi’s ploy worked: she ended up winning her bid for speaker by a slim margin of 216 to McCarthy’s 209, according to USA Today.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time the California Democrat took a flexible approach to COVID-related rules. Despite being an ardent supporter of mask use, Fox News obtained footage late last year showing her maskless at a beauty salon that was supposed to be shut down due to the pandemic.
Rather than show contrition, Pelosi complained that she was the victim of a “set-up” and demanded an apology from the salon’s owner, Fox later reported.