House lawmaker suing Pelosi over mask rule says he has COVID

Aug 5, 2021, 11:39 AM | Updated: 1:22 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Rep. Ralph Norman, one of the three congressional Republicans suing Speaker Nancy Pelosi over fines for not wearing masks during a vote on the U.S. House floor, has contracted a breakthrough case of COVID-19, the second member of South Carolina’s delegation to do so.

Norman, who has said he has been fully vaccinated since February, tweeted that he began experiencing minor symptoms of COVID-19 on Thursday, tested positive for the virus that day and would quarantine for 10 days.

Representing South Carolina’s 5th District since 2017, Norman is part of a federal lawsuit against Pelosi over a mandate earlier this year that members wear masks while on the House floor.

Last week, Norman and U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Thomas Massie of Kentucky sued Pelosi, seeking a determination that their $500 fines — issued because they went maskless during a May vote — are unconstitutional and should be rescinded.

“The masking requirement was an attempt to prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, medicine, and science, despite a deep divide over these issues of opinion,” lawyers for the members wrote, arguing that masks were required “in televised areas only” in the chamber.

“It has been used to force Plaintiffs and other members of the minority party to be instruments for fostering public adherence to this ideological point of view that Plaintiffs find unacceptable,” they added.

The trio had challenged the fines in June, arguing that the mandate was out of sync with recent federal guidance on face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their appeal failed.

The May vote in question happened a week after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance noting that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.”

Even after that updated CDC guidance, Dr. Brian Monahan, Congress’ attending physician, wrote that “mask requirement and other guidelines remain unchanged until all Members and floor staff are fully vaccinated.”

The mask requirement was lifted June 11 but has since been revived because of a resurgence of the coronavirus. As cases of the virus increase, the CDC has updated its recommendations to include a return to masking indoors, even for fully vaccinated individuals.

Recent analysis has shown that breakthrough cases of COVID-19, with mild or no symptoms, still remain rare, but Norman is the second South Carolina Republican this week to report one.

On Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham told The Associated Press that he was improving after a handful of “pretty tough days,” suffering he said he was sure would have been worse had he not been vaccinated. He also told AP he has urged former President Donald Trump to “speak up” and urge his supporters to get the vaccine.

___

Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Anti-Japan protesters on disputed islands march near the Japanese Consulate General in Shang...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: What’s behind strained China-Japan relations

TOKYO (AP) — Japan and China on Thursday mark the 50th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of their ties, but there isn’t much of a celebratory mood. Improved ties between Asia’s two biggest economies are considered vital to the region’s stability and prosperity, but they remain at odds over disputed East China Sea islands and […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Pollution from Florida mining a concern with Hurricane Ian

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The polluted leftovers of Florida’s phosphate fertilizer mining industry, more than 1 billion tons in “stacks” that resemble enormous ponds, are at risk for leaks or other contamination when Hurricane Ian comes ashore in the state, environmental groups say. Florida has 24 such phosphogypsum stacks, most of them concentrated in […]
23 hours ago
This GOES-East GeoCcolor satellite image taken at 10:10 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, and pr...
Associated Press

Hurricane Ian nears Florida coast, threatening floods, winds

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida residents rushed to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and flee from oncoming Hurricane Ian, fearing the monstrous storm that knocked out power to all of Cuba and left 11 million people without power would slam into their state’s west coast with catastrophic winds and […]
23 hours ago
FILE - The angel Moroni statue atop the Salt Lake Temple is silhouetted against a cloud-covered sky...
Associated Press

Churches defend clergy loophole in child sex abuse reporting

It was a frigid Sunday evening at the Catholic Newman Center in Salt Lake City when the priest warned parishioners who had gathered after Mass that their right to private confessions was in jeopardy. A new law would break that sacred bond, the priest said, and directed the parishioners to sign a one-page form letter […]
23 hours ago
This photo released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Sirhan Sir...
Associated Press

RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan challenges his parole denial

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Sirhan Sirhan, who assassinated presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, is asking a judge on Wednesday to free him from prison by reversing California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s denial of his parole earlier this year. Sirhan shot Kennedy moments after the U.S. senator from New York claimed victory in California’s pivotal […]
23 hours ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
House lawmaker suing Pelosi over mask rule says he has COVID