'It's time to grow up': Biden blasts anti-mask GOP members of Congress

Matthew Choi
·2 min read

President-elect Joe Biden on Friday blasted Republican lawmakers who refused to don masks while housed in safe rooms during last week's Capitol insurgency, telling them, "It's time to grow up."

He also more broadly condemned the politicization of a measure that has been repeatedly proven to decrease the transmission of the coronavirus.

"It was shocking to see members of the Congress while the Capitol was under siege by a deadly mob of thugs refuse to wear masks while they were in secure locations," Biden said. "I'm so proud of my congresswoman right here in the state of Delaware, Lisa Blunt Rochester, trying to hand out masks while people were lying on the floor, huddled up. And Republican colleagues refusing to put them on. What the hell is the matter with them?"

Several members of Congress were huddled in secure locations during last week's Capitol insurgency that left five people dead. At least three Democratic House members tested positive for Covid-19 after sheltering with Republicans who refused to wear masks.

Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) revealed their diagnoses this week, and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman announced her positive test on Monday. Coleman is a 75-year-old cancer survivor.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi imposed fines this week on members who refuse to wear masks on the House floor, with a $500 penalty for a first offense and $2,500 for a second offense.

Biden condemned anti-mask members while unveiling his Covid-19 vaccination plan in Wilmington, Del. During his remarks, he reiterated plans to mandate masks in public spaces once he takes office and implored Americans not to politicize the safety measure.

"I know it's become a partisan issue, but what a stupid, stupid thing for it to happen. This is a patriotic act," Biden said of wearing masks.