- Republican congressional officials said they had to come to work in person, but their bosses didn't take the necessary precautions to protect against corona viruses.
- The staff who spoke to Politico on condition of anonymity said they were also ridiculed for wearing a mask at work.
- The issue became known after Politico reported that GOP MP Louie Gohmert tested positive for COVID-19.
- A Gohmert adjutant announced that the congressman needs full staff to work who have been abused for wearing masks. Other Republican officials then sent a flood of similar articles to the publication.
- House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday that wearing masks is required for everyone working in all parts of the Capitol House, including offices.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Republican Congress officials said they were forced to come to work in person, but their bosses did not take the necessary precautions to protect them from coronaviruses.
Several helpers for members of Congress and other capitol workers passed anonymously to Politico that they were ridiculed for wearing masks, had no adequate quarantine times, performed no or very slow tests, and are afraid of retaliation if they criticize labor practices.
"I work in a republican house office, and although we are not encouraged not to wear a mask, we essentially have to work in the office," a house republican told Politico. "We worked from home for a few days when one of my employees may have been exposed to Covid, but even then many of my colleagues continued to work in the office. We were asked to report as normal before the test was negative because of the Results were taking too long. I felt guilty for teleworking even though I had an underlying health condition. "
"It's also not uncommon to ridicule people for wearing masks," an adjutant of a Republican Congressman who previously had COVID-19 told Politico. "I think you will find that many offices in the anti-mask brigade force employees to report to work even if they have legitimate health concerns. I am sure you could find that too some employees have … traveling to areas in high-risk areas and no longer quarantined thereafter. "
One worker also pointed out a strong difference that they observed between Democratic workplace policies and Republicans.
"If you asked me to give you a breakdown of mask usage in member offices, it has been almost universal in democratic offices based on my coincidental observations. In republican offices it is probably less than 50%," a senior administration technician told Politico . "And some GOP offices ask why you are wearing a mask, which puts our employees in an uncomfortable position – are you saying about the pandemic and risking the office taking this as a political point of view? Take it off to make them feel better feel? "
"There is general concern that expressing critical statements about current office policy – or lack of policy – will result in retaliation," an adviser told Politico.
The eyebrow-raising posts come after Politico first reported that GOP MP Louie Gohmert tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, the day after he appeared on the hill at Attorney General William Barr's trial.
An adjutant later quickly told Politico that Gohmert required full staff to come to his Capitol office so that they "could be an example of America's way of opening," and that they were often insulted to cover up wear.
A "flood" of similar claims was then passed on to Politico by other Republican officials, according to reporter Jake Sherman.
All 535 congress members have their own office and employ their own staff. This means that the rules and practices in the workplace vary from person to person. There is no central personnel office for congress employees.
Gohmert, who said he was asymptomatic and isolated, later contested his employee's claim.
"They say I abused employees for wearing masks," Gohmert told Sean Hannity in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday evening. "That's a lie."
The Republican representative from Texas was also asked by his colleagues to repeatedly refuse to wear a mask at work. Legislators were soon increasingly alarmed about the possibility of exposure to the disease, as many are of age and are at high risk of becoming seriously ill if they become infected with the virus. according to CDC instructions.
Some members of Congress, who were close to Gohmert on Capitol Hill, said so will quarantine itself after learning his diagnosis. Barr, who was seen in a video near Gohmert just before the hearing, was tested negative for the virus.
The Capitol has been relatively casual with its guidelines for preventing coronaviruses since the pandemic began. Contrary to President Donald Trump and those who work nearby, members of Congress and their staff are not routinely tested.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday morning officially made masks have a requirement for everyone in all parts of the Chamber, including Republican offices, and at all times, except when giving a speech or interview, while being socially distant, when eating or drinking, when alone in an office, or when due to medical reasons Conditions are unable