Opinion: What GOP lawmakers who refused to wear masks during Capitol lockdown need now

6 min read
fairly difficult
Those Republicans who put lives at risk, whether they flouted public health guidelines while and endangering colleagues while hiding from rioters or whether they spread inflammatory rhetoric and outright lies about the American democratic system, must own up to what they've done and face serious consequences, writes Jill Filipovic.
Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in New York and author of the book " OK Boomer, Let's Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind ." Follow her on Twitter . The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely her own. View more opinion articles on CNN.

(CNN) It's an outrage piled on a deadly incursion: After pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building, leaving five dead , Republican members of Congress, sheltering with their scared colleagues in tight quarters, launched a different sort of aggression.

Several of them refused to wear masks, even as a potentially deadly airborne virus was ravaging the nation.

Democratic members of Congress were captured on video i mploring those Republicans to mask up. They refused. And now, three Democrats have tested positive for Covid-19.

One of them, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman , is a 75-year-old cancer survivor who underwent chemotherapy in 2018, making her case potentially serious. "I am angry that the attack on the Capitol and my subsequent illness have the same cause: my Republican colleagues' inability to accept facts," Coleman wrote in the Washington Post

Another, Rep. Brad Schneider, said in a statement that he is "now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife's health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff."

And Rep. Pramila Jayapal told New York Magazine's Rebecca Traister last week that she feared she had been exposed in "a superspreader event" because, when members of Congress were brought to a secured room during the attack, "there were over 100 people and many were Republicans not wearing masks."

In an interview with McClatchy news service Friday, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned that the US Capitol riot, broadly speaking, was likely a coronavirus "surge event" and "is going to have public…
Opinion by Jill Filipovic
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