Representative Ralph Norman (RS.C.) tested positive for a COVID-19 infection after challenging the House of Representatives mask mandate and filing a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif. ) For a resulting fine of $ 500 for going without a mask.
On Thursday, Norman tweeted, “After experiencing minor symptoms this morning, I looked for a COVID-19 test and was just informed that the test results were positive. Fortunately, I have been fully vaccinated and my symptoms are still mild.” He added that he will work virtually while in “quarantine” for 10 days. (“Quarantine” refers to restrictions on people who maybe be sick. Those who are known to be infected must go into “isolation.”)
Last week, Norman, along with the representatives. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) And Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Filed a lawsuit against Pelosi, alleging that the $ 500 fines they each faced for not wearing masks on the House floor in May were unconstitutional. . The trio had appealed the fines in June, but on July 20, the Ethics Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives announced that their appeals had failed.
The fines were ordered after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a guide that said fully vaccinated people could go without a mask in most indoor settings. However, the guide was widely criticized and the congressional treating physician announced that the masking guide would remain unchanged for legislators. Since then, the CDC has reversed its masking guidance in the face of the current delta-driven increase in COVID-19 cases and the risk that the very small proportion of vaccinated people who develop an advanced infection may still transmit the virus.
In the lawsuit, however, attorneys for Norman, Greene, and Massie asserted that the mask requirement “was an attempt to prescribe what should be orthodox in politics, medicine, and science, despite a deep division on these issues. opinion”. according to Associated Press. They added: “It has been used to compel the Plaintiffs and other members of the minority party to be instruments to encourage public adherence to this ideological viewpoint which the Plaintiffs find unacceptable.”
In a tweet from july 28Norman claimed that “government-imposed masking mandates represent a damaging combination of signaling virtue and unwarranted fear.”
Norman’s breakthrough infection follows news earlier this week that Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) had also tested positive for a breakthrough infection. His infection developed after an unmasked meeting aboard a ship owned by Senator Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.).