WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Wearing a mask has become a contentious debate throughout the United States in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of being a matter of health, doctor and Congressman Greg Murphy (R-NC) said whether to wear a mask is becoming a political question, especially on Capitol Hill.
“It’s becoming too politicized,” Rep. Murphy said Monday.
Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) criticized some of his Republican colleagues on Friday for showing up to a coronavirus hearing without a mask on.
But Georgia Republican Congressman Buddy Carter insists this isn’t a political issue.
“I’ve seen just as many Republicans wearing face masks as I’ve seen Democrats,” Carter said.
Republican senators like David Perdue of Georgia, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Thom Tillis of North Carolina consistently encourage constituents and social media followers to wear masks.
“There are a lot of people I know that get offended when I just beat the drum on social distancing and wearing a mask,” Tillis said last week.
As more Republicans advocate for Americans to wear masks, President Donald Trump has yet to call for Americans to wear them or publicly wear one himself.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said mask usage is a local and a personal decision.
“It’s his choice to wear a mask,” McEnany said Monday during a White House press briefing.
Republican Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne agreed.
“That’s up to him,” Byrne said Monday.
But Congressman David Price (D-NC) said Monday, “you just have to work around the president.”
Vice President Mike Pence publicly supported mask-wearing on Sunday, especially when social distancing isn’t possible.
“We encourage everyone to wear a mask,” Pence said.