House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) labeled Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) a “moron” over the latter’s criticism of renewed masking recommendations.
Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday morning that House lawmakers would “honor” the Capitol physician’s updated guidance instructing lawmakers to wear masks indoors.
When asked by @frankthorp about @GOPLeader’s criticism of the mask mandate being reinstated in the House, @SpeakerPelosi responds as she’s getting in her SUV: “He’s such a moron.” pic.twitter.com/2WUwE3A9wR
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) July 28, 2021
“Leader McCarthy says it’s against the science,” NBC reporter Frank Thorp noted to Pelosi.
“He’s such a moron,” Pelosi responded.
“Unfortunately, we can’t verify this audio because of poor quality, but I can confirm that the Speaker believes that saying a mask requirement is ‘not a decision based on science’ is moronic,” Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, commented on Twitter.
McCarthy does not appear to have addressed the House mask mandate directly. However, the minority leader has commented on the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for vaccinated Americans to wear masks indoors in areas with high coronavirus transmission.
“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,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening.
The new recommendations have drawn pushback from Republicans, with a number of GOP governors saying they would not impose indoor mask mandates.
The CDC recommendations come amid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is more contagious than previous variants. A fully vaccinated staffer in Pelosi’s office contracted coronavirus in a “breakthrough” infection earlier this month.
However, the vast majority of people hospitalized with coronavirus are unvaccinated, former Food and Drug Administration head Scott Gottlieb has noted.