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Rep. Brian Mast at a March 10 hearing. Photo: Ken Cedeno/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) said Monday he will appeal a $500 fine brought by House rules requiring all members to wear masks, despite new CDC guidance allowing fully vaccinated people to go maskless indoors.

The big picture: The fine comes after Mast joined several of his Republican colleagues in an apparent act of protest to go maskless on the House floor, after which he said it was the "best $500 I ever spent."

  • Despite updated CDC guidelines — which were in place several days before Mast and his colleagues went without masks — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has doubled down on the mask mandate, pointing out that not all members have confirmed they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

What he's saying: "I am fully vaccinated and followed the science, which on May 13, 2021, was updated by the CDC to state that 'fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting,'" Mast said in a statement.

  • "Any requirements to the contrary are reliant on the CDC guidance and so must fall within the CDC's update," he said.

Go deeper

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Aug 30, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

U.S. Education Department launches probe into Iowa's mask mandate ban

Gov. Kim Reynolds listens during an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting in Washington, D.C., June 26, 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Education is launching an investigation into Iowa and four other GOP-led states that banned mask mandates in schools — the first major federal intervention into how states handle COVID mitigation.

Why it matters: The bans may put students, especially those with disabilities or underlying medical conditions, at unnecessary risk and prevent them from accessing in-person classes, the department's Office for Civil Rights argues.

  • Yes, but: Gov. Kim Reynolds and Republican governors in the other states under investigation — Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah — have argued families know what's best for their children, citing personal responsibility.
Aug 30, 2021 - Health

CDC: Unvaccinated teacher caused an outbreak in classroom

Kindergarteners play during recess on the first day of school at Los Angeles Unified School District. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

An outbreak at an elementary school classroom in Marin County, California, appears to have been caused by an unvaccinated teacher who was occasionally unmasked, a new case study out Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Why it matters: The outbreak — in which about 50% of the students got infected with COVID-19 — highlights the challenge of sending unvaccinated children back to school, particularly in light of the Delta variant’s increased transmissibility.

Aug 31, 2021 - World

70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

Staffers at a Vacci-Bus wait for vaccination seekers in July at the Place des Martyrs in Brussels. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the EU one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.