Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the swearing in of incoming congressmen on Monday in a ceremony which ignored recommended health guidelines surrounding coronavirus, Daily Wire reports.
The ceremony reportedly had no social distancing and few masks, with guests of the ceremony socializing in close quarters and shaking hands.
Pelosi faced criticism earlier that day for allowing a congressman who had tested positive for coronavirus to vote in person over the weekend in order to secure yet another term as Speaker of the House. The infected congressman was surrounded by plexiglass so that he could cast his vote.
Pelosi managed to hold on to her position with a majority of two votes. Had the congressman not been there, only one other Democrat would have had to defect to cost her the required majority. The move was criticized by a number of Republicans.
Despite the disregard for coronavirus health guidelines on the House floor, Pelosi described the coronavirus pandemic as an "unprecedented national crisis" and that Congress's "most urgent priority will continue to be defeating the coronavirus."
Pelosi later performed damage control, releasing a statement saying "[as] Members of Congress, we are considered essential workers. We must take our responsibility seriously," further calling upon her colleagues to wear masks and socially distance.