Updated: Jan 21
On the historic day of January 6th, 2021, a large mob of mainly right-wing extremists proceeded to take the 2020 election into their own hands and “take back their country.” The angry group of rioters began to force their way inside of the capitol in the middle of a congressional ceremony to certify President-Elect Joe Biden’s election win. All members of congress were quickly and safely evacuated out of the House floor and into a safe room.
According to videos from Punchbowl News and democratic Representative Brad Schneider, multiple Republican lawmakers can be seen talking and laughing loudly amongst one another without wearing masks or socially distancing themselves from one another. This does not appear to be one weak limb as there are multiple groups of Republican congressmen and women not adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines.
To add insult to injury, the room that the congressmen and women are being held in is small. So small that some senators and representatives are sitting on the floor against the wall, waiting for the violence to pass and the mob to be taken out of the building. It’s times like these that make us question if we live in the United States of America or a corrupt and unjust third-world country.
The issue at hand does not lie in one single person refusing to wear a mask, even though days prior congress had voted and agreed to find a member of congress 500 dollars for not wearing a mask and 2500 for repeat offenders. The issue lies in a large group of representatives from each state banding together and refusing to wear a mask even when advised to do so by others. It is common courtesy at this point, nowhere near an “infringement on our rights” to wear a mask. Especially being this close to reaching herd immunity in the United States.
The actions were taken by GOP lawmakers that Wednesday afternoon, unfortunately, had real-world consequences for innocent bystanders. Rep. Jayapal from Washington recently tweeted saying “ I just received a positive COVID-19 test result after being locked down in a secured room at the Capitol where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff offered them one.”
Almost 12 months have passed since COVID-19 has seemingly taken over our whole lives. Everyone in the world had their daily routines interrupted for almost a whole year. Some extremists and doubters are either in denial or are mistaken in their thoughts that CDC guidelines are only suggestions and not requirements. It’s these actions that have caused almost four hundred thousand deaths nationwide. We must take these actions by Republican Reps. as a warning as to what can happen if we do not wear masks and socially distance during this pandemic.