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Ohio Representative Tim Ryan responded to House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s criticisms of the CDC’s mask recommendations on Wednesday, sharing his frustrations with what he described as the GOP leader’s disregard for safety.

“I just find it absolutely immature and appalling to somehow diminish [COVID] to try to score cheap political points,” Ryan said. “That is beneath a minority leader of one of the major political parties in the United States of America.”

Just over a month after it was lifted, the CDC reissued a mask guidance on Tuesday amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus. Under the new guidance even vaccinated people are advised to wear masks in high-risk areas. Following the new guidance, Congress’ attending physician announced members of the House are once again required to wear masks.

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Despite this, over a dozen Republicans were reportedly seen maskless on the House floor during a Wednesday vote. They included representatives from the states currently experiencing Delta-fueled case surges, including Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Texas Representative Chip Roy.

“I may not be from a hotspot. Speaker Pelosi may not be from a hotspot. Somebody in this chamber is coming from a hotspot. Somebody represents the hotspots,” said Ryan. “Just stop with this craziness. We’re trying to be safe, trying to protect our family members, our kids, our parents, close relatives, and the Minority Leader mocks that.”


Maria Elena Little Endara can be reached at mariaelena.littleendara@globe.com.