Mask wars: Eric Swalwell gets into shouting match with Marjorie Taylor Greene aide who tells him to take his mask off as he leaves House floor
- CDC relaxed guidelines Thursday on masks for people who are fully vaccinated
- Aide to Greene asked Swalwell to take off his mask as he left House floor
- Swalwell reportedly dropped F-bomb and angrily told Nick Dyer he had no right to tell him what to do
- Congress said members must still mask up on House floor despite CDC advice
- Spat reflected public confusion about what people can and cannot do
Rep. Eric Swalwell reportedly dropped an F-bomb on Friday as he and an aide to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene got into an angry confrontation over the use of face masks on the House floor.
The episode comes amid Republican fury that Congress has not followed national guidelines relaxing mask use and public confusion about the latest advice.
And it marks the latest example of allegedly disruptive behavior by Greene and her staff.
‘I had a mask on as I stepped off the Floor,’ Swalwell said in a tweet. ‘An aide with @mtgreenee yelled at me to take my mask off.
Rep. Eric Swalwell reportedly dropped an F-bomb on Friday as he and an aide to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene got into an angry confrontation over the use of face masks on the House floor. Scott Wong, a reporter for the Hill, said the aide involved was Greene spokesman Nick Dyer who told Swalwell: ‘Biden says you can take off your mask’
‘I had a mask on as I stepped off the Floor,’ Swalwell said in a tweet. ‘An aide with @mtgreenee yelled at me to take my mask off’
A witness described the altercation as Eric Swalwell left the House floor wearing his mask, despite CDC guidance can now go mask-free indoors
Eric Swalwell (left) reportedly got into a heated exchange with Greene aide Nick Dyer (right) about mask use in Congress, reflecting tensions felt across the country as people get used to new advice on when to cover up
‘No one should be bullied for wearing a mask. So I told the bully what I thought of his order.
‘Predictably, he went speechless. I regret I wasn’t more explicit.’
Onlookers suggested he was explicit enough.
Scott Wong, a reporter for the Hill, said the aide involved was Greene spokesman Nick Dyer who told Swalwell: ‘Biden says you can take off your mask.’
Swalwell ‘got in his face’ and, according to Dyer, responded: ‘You don’t tell me what to f***ing do!’
A year of coronavirus restrictions have seen countless mask confrontations around the country.
Conservatives have chafed at what they see as an infringement of personal freedom.
But things changed On Thursday, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear a mask indoors.
‘If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,’ said its director Dr. Rochelle Walensky
But the relaxed stance does not apply to lawmakers on the House floor.
The attending physician of Congress eased some requirements in the wake of the CDC advice but said masks would still be required on the floor until everyone was vaccinated.
Fully-vaccinated Americans can finally stop wearing their masks almost anywhere – indoors or outdoors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Thursday
‘Hall Of The House: The present mask requirement and other guidelines remain unchanged until all Members and floor staff are fully vaccinated,’ said the updated guidance.
Republicans quickly announced their anger.
‘It’s about control,’ House Minority Whip Steve Scalise told Fox News on Thursday. ‘She wants to control the House.’
The confrontation comes as Greene is accused of launching verbal assaults on Democratic Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez whom she ‘aggressively confronted’ this week, accusing her of supporting ‘terrorists.’
A 2019 video also surfaced showing how she had shouted ‘stop being a baby’ through Ocasio-Cortez’s locked office door.