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Tags: China | Coronavirus | Newsmax TV | wittman | pelosi | congress | masks

Rep. Wittman to Newsmax: Mandated N95 Masks Should Be 'Made in America'

(Newsmax/''American Agenda'')

By    |   Wednesday, 12 January 2022 06:18 PM

If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wants a mandate for N95 masks on the House floor to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they should at least be made in the United States instead of China, Rep. Rob Wittman told Newsmax.

''Why would you want to be reliant upon China, who we know doesn't have our best interests at heart,'' the Virginia Republican said on Wednesday's ''American Agenda.'' 

''Think about it — the requirement for members to wear N95 masks on the floor. And then the mask that Speaker Pelosi has given us [is] made in China. [It’s] unbelievable that they would actually hand out these masks, and then we're on the House floor doing the business of the nation.''

On Tuesday, Wittman sent a letter to Pelosi, asking her to make sure the required masks and other personal protective equipment are produced in the U.S.

''If we should have learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic — it is imperative to break U.S. dependence on foreign medical supply chains,'' Wittman wrote in his letter. ''The House of Representatives should lead by using masks made by patriotic Americans.''

Due to the rapid spread of the omicron COVID-19 variant, which has sickened 30 lawmakers since December, Pelosi called for a switch to the N95 or KN95 masks in the House, following the most recent guidance of attending physician Brian Monahan, who also suggested allowing more remote work by members and staff during the surge.

Roll Call reported Jan. 3 that Monahan notified lawmakers that the seven-day positivity rate at the Capitol's testing centers increased from less than 1% to more than 13%, a reflection of what is happening across the city.

Despite Congress' requiring the higher-quality masks, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that the agency would not change its recommendations and ask people to use those face coverings, The Hill reported.

Some have urged the government to make the surgical masks more accessible to the public.

''Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations and should not be considered an acceptable form of face covering,'' Leana Wen, a public health professor at George Washington University, tweeted last month, according to The Hill article. ''The US should require (& distribute) medical-grade surgical masks to be worn in crowded indoor spaces.'' 

Wittman said he opposes mandates, but if Congress is ordered to have them, the materials should be American-made.

''Fortunately, last month I was able to get legislation passed that required the Department of Defense not to buy PPE from China,'' he said. ''I just wish that Speaker Pelosi would follow suit.''

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If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wants a mandate for N95 masks on the House floor to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they should at least be made in the United States instead of China, Rep. Rob Wittman told Newsmax.
wittman, pelosi, congress, masks, covid
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2022-18-12
Wednesday, 12 January 2022 06:18 PM
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