In a memo issued last night, Dr. Brian Monahan, Congress' top physician, concluded that lawmakers and their aides should return to wearing masks as a result of the spreading Delta variant. House leaders announced the new requirement soon after.
Many Republicans did not respond to the news in an especially constructive way. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) published a tweet, for example, which argued, "Make no mistake -- The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was apparently unpersuaded by the GOP leader's mind-numbing assertion.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday for criticizing new mask guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as the House of Representatives brings back face coverings amid concerns over the fast spreading delta variant. Pelosi reportedly called McCarthy "such a moron" for opposing the reintroduction of mask mandates.
In context, as NBC News' Frank Thorp noted, Pelosi was asked about the policy, and she explained that she's honoring the judgment of the Capitol physician. Reminded of McCarthy's criticisms, the video appears to show the House Speaker saying, "He's such a moron."
I don't think she was referring to Dr. Monahan.
Pelosi's spokesperson wouldn't confirm the Speaker's comments, though he said Pelosi does, in fact, believe that opposing mask requirements as contrary to science is "moronic."
Putting aside questions about McCarthy's intellect, part of the problem with his position is that the Republican congressman seems wildly confused about the left's goals.
To hear McCarthy tell it, Congress' top physician and the Speaker's office didn't examine the public-health circumstances and consult the latest CDC guidance. Rather, there was a nefarious scheme hatched by "liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state."
Here's the question I'd love McCarthy to answer: does he actually know any liberals?
I obviously don't know literally everyone on the left, but I can safely say I've never spoken to any progressive-minded person -- on Capitol Hill or off -- who likes the idea of wearing COVID masks as part of a rascally plot to keep the pandemic going indefinitely.
For one thing, mask-wearing doesn't extend a perpetual pandemic state, it does the opposite. For another, why in the world would liberals want a perpetual pandemic state? How would this benefit Democrats or the progressive agenda?
Has he not noticed that a lot of folks in blue states scrambled to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, precisely because they don't want to "live in a perpetual pandemic state"?
As Paul Waldman put it, "Republicans twist themselves in knots of illogic to argue that what Biden actually wants is for America to be mired in misery and discontent."
Is it any wonder Pelosi is getting frustrated with McCarthy's obvious nonsense?