New House member says ‘masks are oppressive’ amid COVID-19 surge

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Congresswoman-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has drawn criticism for her support of the QAnon conspiracy theory, said Friday that “masks are oppressive” during orientation for incoming representatives. Greene’s comments come as over 240,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, with the U.S. breaking another record for daily cases on Thursday.

“Our first session of New Member Orientation covered COVID in Congress. Masks, masks, masks….I proudly told my freshman class that masks are oppressive. In GA, we work out, shop, go to restaurants, go to work, and school without masks. My body, my choice. #FreeYourFace,” Greene, who was elected to a district in northwest Georgia last week, wrote on Twitter.

Anyone who enters the Capitol complex are required to wear masks while on Capitol grounds. The mayor of Washington, D.C. has also ordered people must wear masks while in public. Public health experts agree wearing a mask helps to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Greene will likely be a firebrand in Congress, as she has posted racist videos, shared QAnon posts and floated conspiracy theories about the September 11 terrorist attacks. Although the House passed a bipartisan resolution condemning QAnon earlier this year, Republicans seem ready to embrace Greene.

In a tweet in August, President Trump called Greene a “future Republican star.” Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, who is locked in a tight Senate runoff, embraced Greene’s endorsement and has campaigned with her. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy falsely told reporters on Thursday that Greene had denounced QAnon.

“The only thing I would ask of the press is to give these new members, give them an opportunity before you claim what you believe they had done what they will do,” McCarthy said.

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