NewsCovering Louisiana


Rep. Higgins to CNN: "Can you smell through that mask?"

Higgins, other GOP lawmakers continuing to not wear masks
Workshop to help veterans set for Monday in Rayne
Posted at 8:07 PM, May 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-30 21:39:23-04

A group of GOP House lawmakers, including one from Louisiana, is continuing to not wear masks or face coverings while on the floor of the chamber or in the Capitol building.

Congressman Clay Higgins, after getting off an elevator with two other GOP members, asked a CNN reporter, "Can you smell through that mask? Then you're not stopping any sort of virus. It's part of the dehumanization of the children of God. You're participating in it by wearing a mask."

He continued, "What you're wearing is a bacteria trap; it's not helping your health or anybody else's."

CNN is calling the group the "no-mask caucus."

The virus, however, is carried in particles of mucus and saliva that come from the mouth when people sneeze, cough, or talk. The Capitol physician in a memo to members earlier this week urged them to wear masks, given the challenges to physically distance.

"Use of a face covering, while voluntary, is strongly recommended for members and staff in any proceeding when it may not be possible to maintain the minimum six-foot separation distance," Monahan, along with House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving, wrote in the memo.

Other lawmakers, including Rep. Andy Biggs from Arizona and Rep. Chip Roy, also haven't been wearing masks on the floor, according to CNN.

Higgins has said he has "a different medical opinion" when it comes to wearing masks, and noted that during his time as a law enforcement officer he had been hospitals "hundreds of times" and doctors and nurses hadn't been wearing masks all day long.

Rep. Steve Scalise told CNN he wore a mask on the flight to Washington, D.C. from New Orleans and will wear one when returning, but believes social distancing is "clearly the most important thing for people for safety."

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