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U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican of Colorado, invoked Gov. Greg Abbott's repeal of the state's mask mandate to illustrate how Republicans, and not Democrats, are basing COVID-19 policies on science.
During a May 19 interview on Dr. Gina Prime Time with host Gina Loudon, a conservative TV personality on the web-based network Real America’s Voice and former campaign surrogate for President Donald Trump, Boebert and Loudon blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., over Democrats' mask rules
House rules state that, until all members and staff are fully vaccinated, masks are required on the House floor and in committee meeting rooms, with fines of $500 for the first offense and $2,500 for the second offense, Politico reported.
As of May 14, all House Democrats reported having received a COVID-19 vaccine. Ninety-five of the 212 Republican House members reported being vaccinated, with 112 Republicans not responding to a survey, according to CNN.
Boebert was one of many House Republicans who joined a maskless protest within the House chamber alongside a dozen other members, including Texas representatives Chip Roy, Beth Van Duyne and Louie Gohmert, according to Politico. Their protest argued that leaving the mask-wearing rules in place contravened the latest guidelines released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which eased face covering guidelines for vaccinated people.
"It just goes to show that this party’s ‘follow the science’ slogan is a total joke," Boebert said.
Then she referenced Abbott's move to lift the statewide mask rules effective March 10 as part of an effort to "open Texas 100%."
"Texas removed their mask mandate two months ago, and sleepy Joe called it Neanderthal thinking," she said. "No sir. Republicans are just following the science. And since removing the mask mandate two months ago, Texas has not reported a single COVID death. Not one."
A look at the state’s COVID-19 dashboard shows that, although daily fatality numbers are decreasing, more than 3,000 Texans have died of the coronavirus since the mask mandate was lifted. That’s about 6% of the 50,000 deaths Texas has recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.
This total also does not include fatalities from May 23 to date, which have not yet been recorded by the state. And totals from May 10 onward are still trickling in because, according to a Texas Department of State Health Services spokesperson, it takes around 10 days, on average, for funeral homes and medical officials to submit death certificates.
About 34% of Texans, or around 9.9 million people, have been fully vaccinated, according to state data. Health officials have said that between 75% and 95% of the state population need to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.
Boebert represents Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which comprises the western swath of the state, home to a smattering of ski resorts, national forest, ranches and coal-mining towns, according to the Associated Press. Boebert defeated longstanding Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in 2020 after accusing Tipton of not being sufficiently pro-Trump. Her far-right views are centered around gun rights, and she owns a restaurant where servers openly carry firearms.
Her spokesperson, Ben Stout, did not respond to requests for comment.
Boebert said during a May 19 interview with Gina Loudon that, since Texas removed its mask mandate, the state "has not reported a single COVID death. Not one."
A quick look at the state-run COVID-19 dashboard, which tracks coronavirus cases, deaths and other metrics, shows that more than 3,000 Texans have died of COVID-19 since Abbott lifted the mandate on March 10.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire.
Real America’s Voice, Rep. Lauren Boebert Joins Dr. Gina Prime Time, May 19, 2021
New York Law Journal, Trump Backer, Author Sues Daily Beast After Article Questioned Her Professional Credentials, Oct. 16, 2019
Politico, House Republicans stage rebellion over mask rules, May 18, 2021
CNN, Congressional Democrats have a 100% vaccination rate, May 14, 2021
Texas Department of State Health Services, COVID-19 dashboard, accessed May 24, 2021
The Attending Physician of the U.S. Congress, Attending Physician Pandemic Social Distancing and Daily Health Screening Implementation Guidelines for Congressional Offices and Work Centers, May 19, 2021
Austin American-Statesman, Gov. Greg Abbott ends statewide mask mandate, moves to 'open Texas 100%' — actions at odds with health experts, federal officials, March 2, 2021
Texas Department of State Health Services, COVID-19 Vaccination data, accessed May 24, 2021
Texas Tribune, Coronavirus in Texas, accessed May 24, 2021
The Associated Press, A fluke or the future? Rep. Lauren Boebert shakes up her Colorado district, Feb. 8, 2021
The Guardian US, Who is Lauren Boebert, the QAnon sympathizer who won a Republican primary? July 1, 2020
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