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Opinion: What GOP lawmakers who refused to wear masks during Capitol lockdown need now

January 14, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.2%. 2 min read.

Those Republicans who put lives at risk, whether they flouted public health guidelines while and endangering colleagues while hiding from rioters or whether they spread inflammatory rhetoric and outright lies about the American democratic system, must own up to what they've done and face serious consequences, writes Jill Filipovic.

Democratic members of Congress were captured on video imploring those Republicans to mask up.

And Rep. Pramila Jayapal told New York Magazine's Rebecca Traister last week that she feared she had been exposed in "a superspreader event" because, when members of Congress were brought to a secured room during the attack, "there were over 100 people and many were Republicans not wearing masks. "

In a statement after she tested positive for the virus, Jayapal said: "Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum Covid-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic -- creating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack. "

She called for "serious fines to be immediately levied on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol" and for "any Member who refuses to wear a mask [to] be immediately removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms. "

Would universal mask-wearing have definitely prevented the virus from spreading among members of Congress all trapped together in a small room?

They and others Republicans have politicized mask-wearing and further basic public health measures -- and they have stood by this President as he failed to handle this deadly crisis.

And it was the feckless, willfully dangerous actions of mask-eschewing Republicans in Congress that put the health of their own colleagues at risk, even as they hid together from a rampaging mob of terrorists.

We don't know how many more members of Congress will test positive for Covid-19, just as it's impossible to tally the number of Americans who would have avoided illness or death had all Republican leaders encouraged public health best practices.

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