Both Marjorie Taylor Greene and Thomas Massie took off their masks on the House floor against the chamber's rules.
The House Ethics Committee announced Tuesday that Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) lost their appeals of a $500 fine they received for not wearing masks on the House floor against the chamber's rules.
Both Greene and Massie took off their masks on the House floor in May, after the Centers for Disease Control announced that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear face coverings in public.
Yet the House had not yet lifted its requirement at the time that masks had to be worn in the House chamber. That rule came with a $500 fine for those who broke it.
Both Massie and Greene were fined for removing their masks and appealed the decision, but they lost their appeals on Tuesday.
But if the House had adopted the CDC guidance, Massie would still not have been able to take off his mask, as he is not vaccinated.
In June, Massie — who had previously contracted COVID-19 — admitted that he's not vaccinated. And he said that he won't get vaccinated "until there's data that shows that it will improve upon the immunity that's been conferred to me as a result of a natural infection that I had."
The CDC recommends that everyone get vaccinated — whether or not they've had COVID-19. Research has shown that the vaccine provides stronger immunity than having had COVID-19 before.
"Antibodies acquired with the help of a vaccine may be more likely to target new SARS-CoV-2 variants potently, even when the variants carry new mutations," Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, wrote in a blog post on June 22.
Greene has not said whether she is vaccinated.
On Tuesday, she was asked whether she has received the vaccine but refused to answer, citing her HIPAA rights.
"Your first question is a violation of my HIPAA rights," Greene said.
HIPAA — or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — does not keep Greene from being asked about her vaccination status.
"This is not a violation of HIPAA, which only applies to doctors, nurses, hospitals/clinics, pharmacies, health insurance, etc.," Dr. David Gorski, a professor of oncology and surgery at Wayne State University, tweeted. "Greene doesn't have to answer, but to use the claim that asking the question is a violation of HIPAA as an excuse reveals the depths of her ignorance."
Both Massie and Greene have spread anti-vaccine messaging — which is hampering the effort to get every person in the United States vaccinated to help put an end to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
Greene was suspended from Twitter for 12 hours on Monday for her vaccine lies.
And Massie has been fear-mongering about possible requirements that members of the military get the vaccine. (Members of the military are required to get numerous vaccines, and thus a requirement that a service member receive an FDA-approved inoculation would be nothing new.)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a veteran himself, slammed Massie for his tweet that said members of the military would quit before taking the COVID-19 jab.
"So much wrong with this tweet even beyond how naive it is; 1) sorry, but you can’t quit the military. 2) there are about 3890 mandatory vaccines in the military already, 3) you knew this when you joined. 4) THE VACCINE WORKS," Kinzinger tweeted. "Good luck with your pandering though."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.