Republican congressman wears gas mask for coronavirus vote

Republican congressman Matt Gaetz on Wednesday arrived on Capitol Hill wearing what looked like a gas mask.

“Reviewing the coronavirus supplemental appropriation,” he tweeted last night, with a photo of him in the mask, as though it were a completely normal piece of work attire.

Gaetz says he wore the mask to protect himself from the virus, as he voted on an $8.3bn funding plan to fight coronavirus. He appeared on Fox News later that day without it.

Gaetz has been criticised for spreading misinformation about the virus, which has killed 11 Americans and 3,000 people worldwide. On Thursday morning, Gaetz defended himself, saying that politicians are the most likely people to get coronavirus.

“We fly through the dirtiest airports, we touch everyone we meet, so if anyone’s gonna get coronavirus, it’s totally gonna be Congress,” he told TMZ.

To be fair to Gaetz, seeing as Donald Trump was on Sean Hannity’s show last night suggesting people with coronavirus can go to work, maybe Gaetz is right that Congress will be in the firing line. Gaetz told TMZ that he doesn’t think Trump should follow suit in wearing a biohazard mask to work, “based on what it does to the hair”.

As for whether Gaetz made the right move, he didn’t – wearing a biohazard mask will not help. The CDC has recommended that face masks (the CDC-verified type, rather than Gaetz’s bizarre adaptation) should not be worn by people who do not have the virus – because people who are actually sick need them.

Wearing a mask could also make it easier to get coronavirus. As explained in Forbes last week: “After a while, as the respirator more moist from water droplets in the air and your saliva-laden breath, it loses its ability to properly filter out small particles and microbes.”

Juliegrace Brufke

Some scenes from the floor courtesy of a GOP lawmaker.

March 4, 2020

Gaetz is being very shady about where he got the huge mask from.

“I gotta keep that confidential … Top secret. You don’t wanna know what underground lair I pulled this from,” he told TMZ. “It’s not made in China, though.”

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