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House Members Wear Masks During Historic Vote as COVID-19 Impacts Lawmakers’ Families

Most lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, wore masks throughout Thursday’s historic proceedings, except when delivering speeches from the House floor. Pointedly, a group of at least a dozen House Republicans refused to cover their faces, over the objections of their colleagues and the medical advice of the House physician. At least 34 members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19, which has touched the families and friends of people across Capitol Hill. This is California Democratic Congressmember Maxine Waters.

Rep. Maxine Waters: “I’m going to take a moment to dedicate this legislation to my dear sister, who is dying in a hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, right now, infected by the coronavirus.”

Massachusetts senator and former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said Thursday her oldest brother died in an Oklahoma hospital this week, three weeks after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Donald Reed Herring was 86 years old. Senator Warren tweeted, “It’s hard to know that there was no family to hold his hand or to say ‘I love you’ one more time — and no funeral for those of us who loved him to hold each other close.”

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