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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told House Democrats on a call Wednesday evening that she will require masks to be worn on the floor of the House.

Why it matters: The announcement comes after Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas), who has rarely been seen wearing a mask in the halls of Congress, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

  • "The speaker has the authority to direct the sergeant-at-arms to remove a member from the floor as a matter of decorum," Pelosi said in an announcement on the House floor. Not wearing a mask will be considered a "serious breach of decorum."
  • "The chair expects all members and staff to adhere to the requirement as a sign of respect for the health, safety and well-being of others present in the chamber," she added.

The big picture: Even as President Trump and members of his administration have pushed for mask-wearing in recent weeks, some House Republicans have continued to resist.

  • Gohmert suggested on Wednesday, without evidence, that wearing a mask may have contributed to his infection.
  • Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) told CNN's Manu Raju last month that wearing a mask is "part of the dehumanization of the children of God."

Go deeper: A consensus is finally emerging on masks

Go deeper

Nov 5, 2020 - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 new COVID-19 cases for first time

Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. reported 103,087 new daily coronavirus infections on Wednesday, setting a single-day record for cases, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

Why it matters: This is the first time the U.S. has reported over 100,000 new cases in a single day — a reminder of the high stakes of the election as votes continue to be tabulated.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Nov 4, 2020 - Health

Air pollution connected to higher COVID-19 death rates

Smokestacks in Florida. Photo: Getty Images

A new study of more than 3,000 counties in the U.S. finds a correlation between higher levels of particulate air pollution and higher death rates from COVID-19.

Why it matters: COVID-19 may be caused by the novel coronavirus, but the outcome of an infection is influenced by everything from age to race to the environment. Understanding the connection between disease and pollution can help us address those risks going forward.

Nov 4, 2020 - World

Italy imposes regional lockdown as coronavirus cases spike

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (c) made the call. Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Much of Italy will be placed under a strict lockdown as of Friday in the most drastic steps the country has taken to fight the coronavirus since it led the world into lockdown nearly eight months ago.

The big picture: Italy managed to keep the spread of the virus largely under control for months after a brutal first wave. But like much of Europe, it's currently recording unprecedented daily case counts and scrambling to avoid a return to overcrowded hospitals and climbing death tolls in the coming weeks.