COLUMBIA, SC (AP) – Representative Ralph Norman, one of three Congressional Republicans suing President Nancy Pelosi for fines for not wearing masks during a vote on the floor of the United States House, contracted a groundbreaking case of COVID-19, the second member of the South Carolina delegation to do so.
Norman, who said he had been fully vaccinated since February, tweeted that he started experiencing minor symptoms of COVID-19 on Thursday, tested positive for the virus that day and that he would quarantine for 10 days.
Representing South Carolina’s 5th District since 2017, Norman is part of a federal lawsuit against Pelosi for a term earlier this year that saw members wear masks while upstairs in the house.
Last week, representatives for Norman and the United States, Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene and Kentucky’s Thomas Massie, sued Pelosi, seeking to determine that their $ 500 fines – imposed because they went without a mask in a vote in May – are unconstitutional and should be struck down.
“The masking requirement was an attempt to prescribe what must be orthodox in politics, medicine and science, despite a deep divide on these matters of opinion,” lawyers for members wrote, saying masks were required “in TV areas only” in the bedroom.
“It has been used to force the complainants and other members of the minority party to be instruments to promote public support for this ideological point of view which the complainants find unacceptable,” they added.
The trio challenged the fines in June, arguing that the mandate was not in line with recent federal guidelines on face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their appeal failed.
The May vote in question came a week after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines noting that “fully vaccinated people can resume their activities without wearing a mask or walking away.”
Even after this update to CDC guidelines, Congressional Attending Physician Dr Brian Monahan wrote that “mask requirements and other guidelines remain unchanged until all members and field staff are fully vaccinated ”.
The mask requirement was lifted on June 11 but has since been reinstated due to a resurgence of the coronavirus. As cases of the virus increase, the CDC has updated its recommendations to include a return to indoor masking, even for fully vaccinated people.
Following: “New science is worrying”: CDC again recommends wearing masks indoors. What this means for vaccinated Americans.
Recent analysis has shown that groundbreaking cases of COVID-19, with mild symptoms or no symptoms, are still rare, but Norman is the second South Carolina Republican this week to report one.
Sen. Lindsey Graham told The Associated Press on Thursday he was improving after a handful of “pretty tough days”, suffering he was sure would have been worse had he not been vaccinated. . He also told AP that he urged former President Donald Trump to “speak up” and urge his supporters to get vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccines are very effective but do not provide 100% protection against the virus. This means that a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if exposed to the virus that causes it, according to the CDC.
However, vaccinated people who have flare-ups are much less likely to become seriously ill or die.
Meg Kinnard can be contacted at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
Contribution: Rebecca Morin
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: House lawmaker suing Pelosi over mask rule says he has COVID