Georgia’s new QAnon-supporting Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene caused a ruckus on Sunday at the swearing-in of the new Congress when she refused to wear a mask despite requests from House floor staff, according to Politico’s Jake Sherman. “2 new Republicans — including .@mtgreenee—are being told by House floor staff that they have to put their masks on. as of now, they seem to be telling the floor staff that they will not put it on. Taylor Greene is leaving the floor with the other R, who were trying to ID,” Sherman tweeted. He noted that Trump ally Louie Gohmert (R-TX)—who has pushed to overturn the presidential election result—was also standing maskless on the House floor. After Greene’s refusal to mask up, Republican and Democratic floor staff got into “a screaming match on the floor. So this Congress is going great already,” Sherman tweeted.
The ceremony takes place amid a drastic uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country. Several House members have been in quarantine due to COVID exposure and were participating in the swearing-in and the vote for Speaker from “secure” plexiglass enclosures, according to Capitol Hill doctor Brian Monahan.
Greene later lashed out on Twitter, directing her ire at Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore, who announced on Dec. 28 that she’d tested positive for COVID. Moore told a reporter on Sunday that she had quarantined for 2 weeks (raising questions about the date of her diagnosis) and that her doctor advised her it was safe to attend the swearing-in. Nevertheless, Moore was not using a plexiglass enclosure to vote, reportedly angering Republicans. Greene complained, “@SpeakerPelosi changed the COVID rules because she is desperate to cling to the gavel. No one can attack me about masks, when Pelosi is sending Democrats to the floor with positive COVID tests to vote for her for Speaker.”
Meanwhile, one new member of Congress never made it to the ceremony: Luke Letlow, a 41-year-old Republican, died from the virus just before the new year.
With additional reporting by Arya Hodjat