House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), in a fiery speech on the House floor on Wednesday, dismantled the House mask mandate and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) reversion to previous restrictions, reiterating that the guidance is based, in part, on research in India on a vaccine not even approved by the United States.
“I just left speaking with Dr. Monahan from the House. He said he used the CDC recommendation on a report that hasn’t been printed yet,” McCarthy said, referencing the attending physician’s decision to recommend congressional members and staff wear “well-fitted” super masks while inside if “other individuals are present.”
“He did not know that the report is based upon India, about a vaccine that’s not approved in America, and now he did not know that it didn’t even pass peer-review,” he said.
“That’s why vaccinated people in this house now have to wear a mask. There is no science, but I guess the Speaker must have not known that. Why wouldn’t the Speaker know the facts? Do you know what frustrates Americans the most? Hypocrisy,” he continued, noting how officials have jumped all over the map, first telling Americans not to wear masks, only to advise them to do so — at one point recommending double-masking — then telling them it was safe to take them off if they are vaccinated. Americans were told, he said, they would get their lives back if they got vaccinated.
“But what they also hate about hypocrisy is when you break your own rules. It’s kind of like telling America you can’t get your own hair cut but you get caught on camera because you do it,” he said, referencing Pelosi’s infamous salon getaway last year as others remained locked down and restricted.
McCarthy said he witnessed Pelosi breaking her own rules twice today alone, as she stood in a crowded room without a mask covering her face less than 24 hours after imposing a mandate which is “based upon a study in India, based upon a vaccine that is not approved in America, that didn’t pass peer review.”
“Could this be a plan to try to keep our schools closed? And worst of all, this administration and now this House has broken the country’s trust. One size fits all,” he added.
Indeed, the CDC’s Scientific Brief, updated July 27, admits the study, which used vaccines not authorized in the United States, was used.
A study from Houston, Texas observed that Delta caused a significantly higher rate of breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people compared with infections from other variants, but noted that only 6.5% of all COVID-19 cases occurred in fully vaccinated individuals. Studies from India with vaccines not authorized for use in the United States have noted relatively high viral loads and larger cluster sizes associated with infections with Delta, regardless of vaccination status. These early data suggest that breakthrough Delta infections are transmissible. Unpublished data are consistent with this, and additional data collection and studies are underway to understand the level and duration of transmissibility from Delta vaccine breakthrough infections in the United States and other settings.
All the while, the White House has yet to fully explain how the latest guidance does not contradict their messaging that vaccines are effective and will usher in a state of pre-pandemic normalcy.