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Lauren Boebert threw a mask at a House staffer who asked her to wear one, per multiple reports.
Boebert and some other GOP lawmakers were reacting angrily to a new mask mandate in the House.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed the new mandate was not based on science.
Rep. Lauren Boebert threw a mask at a staffer who asked her to wear one, multiple reports said, as dozens of Republican lawmakers refused to follow the new mask mandate inside the Capitol.
The Capitol's physician on Tuesday reimposed the requirement to wear masks on the House floor and in meeting spaces as the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant spreads rapidly across the US.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued new guidance earlier this week recommending that vaccinated Americans continue to wear a mask indoors.
When Boebert - a vocal opponent of mask-wearing - entered the House floor without a mask Wednesday, a Democratic House staffer handed her one, and Boebert threw it at the staffer, CNN reported, citing an eyewitness. The Washington Post, Politico's Sarah Ferris, and ABC News's Ben Siegel also reported the interaction.
-Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) July 28, 2021
Boebert's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. A spokesperson for the congresswoman defended her actions and told CNN that Boebert "slid" the mask towards the staffer.
"Rep. Boebert refuses to comply with Speaker Pelosi's anti-science, totalitarian mask mandate," the spokesperson said. "When offered a mask, she returned it with a quick slide across the table."
Boebert was one of several GOP lawmakers who criticized the mask mandate since its introduction.
"We might as well start calling this a Perma-demic," she tweeted Wednesday. "Permanent masking. Permanent state of emergency. Permanent control. This will go on until the American people just say enough is enough. The tyrants aren't giving this up!"
24 House Republicans didn't follow the mask mandate
CNN reported that while the majority of Republican lawmakers - including some who had criticized the mandate - did wear a mask after the new mandate, 24 were seen not wearing a mask on the House floor.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy led the criticism of the rules, claiming that the new mandate was not based on science.
"Make no mistake - The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state," he tweeted Tuesday.
-Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) July 28, 2021
Other GOP lawmakers who criticized the mandate included:
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who claimed without providing evidence that the CDC had reached its decision based on a study in India which had been rejected by peer review. The CDC in fact has not released the data that it used to reach the decision, The Washington Post reported.
Rep. Byron Donalds, who did not wear a mask on the House floor even though he said he had not been vaccinated, per CNN. "This rule is stupid," he said, per the report.
Rep. Chip Roy, who said on the House floor: "This is some serious nanny-state stuff that will only breed resentment [...] We should adjourn and shut the place down." The speech won him a standing ovation from lawmakers including Reps. Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Andy Biggs, CNN reported.
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