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Rep. James Clyburn. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The House's select committee on the coronavirus crisis will not recognize members who do not wear a mask while in session, Chair James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told his Republican colleagues in a letter sent Monday.

The big picture: The move comes after every Republican in the committee did not wear a mask at last Friday's hearing, despite being warned to do so prior to the meeting, according to Clyburn.

  • Clyburn said that those members who prefer to not wear masks can participate remotely.

The big picture: While members of Congress are required to wear masks at committee hearings, they have become something of a partisan marker — igniting a divide especially among Republicans, many of whom argue the requirements infringe on personal liberties.

What he's saying: "Masks save lives. As members of Congress, we have a responsibility to protect our colleagues, our staffs, our witnesses, the Capitol Police, and custodial and other frontline workers from potentially deadly exposure to the coronavirus," Clyburn wrote.

  • "My Republican colleagues' refusal to wear masks is perplexing because you have asked repeatedly to hold in-person hearings, and you assured me that this could be done safely. In response, I told you that I would work in good faith to hold in-person hearings if we could do so safely and consistent with the Attending Physician’s guidelines."
  • “Going forward, as long as the Attending Physician’s requirement to wear masks is in place, I will not recognize any member of this Subcommittee to participate in person in any Subcommittee meeting or hearing unless the member is wearing a mask and strictly adheres to the Attending Physician’s guidance."

Read the letter.

Go deeper

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Oct 6, 2020 - Health

MassMutual CEO shares concerns on remote work for younger employees

Axois' Erica Pandey (left) and MassMutal CEO Roger Crandall. Photo: Axios.

Remote work makes collaboration among colleagues harder and "is just not the same," especially for younger employees and interns who never connect with their colleagues in-person, Roger Crandall, CEO of the insurance company MassMutual, told Axios at a virtual event on Tuesday.

What he's saying: "I'm worried about what it means for culture over time, particularly for younger workers," Crandall said. "If you have people who are deep into their career, who have worked together for years, working remotely is not as hard."

Oct 7, 2020 - Health

The cost of Washington's coronavirus failures

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump’s cavalier attitude toward the coronavirus is already making the pandemic worse in his own backyard, and the failure to reach a deal on a new round of stimulus will likely make it worse all across the country, for months.

Why it matters: Heading into the winter months without a new round of stimulus in place will leave vulnerable workers without a financial safety net if they get sick — and because of that, experts say, it will likely make the pandemic itself worse.