President-elect Joe Biden scolded Republican members of Congress on Friday who did not wear masks during the riots on Capitol Hill last week, as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
“What the hell’s the matter with them?” Biden asked. “It’s time to grow up.”
The president-elect spoke about the incident during a speech on how he planned to speed up the vaccination of Americans for coronavirus.
Biden said he found it “shocking” after a video emerged of Republicans refusing to wear masks during the Capitol Hill lockdown, even when Democrat members of Congress offered them one.
“I know it’s become a partisan issue, but what a stupid, stupid thing for it to happen,” he said. “This is a patriotic act.”
“For God’s sake, wear a mask,” he continued. “If not yourself but for your loved ones, for your country. These are really matters of life and death.”
Biden blamed the Republicans for infecting four members of Congress who tested positive for the coronavirus after the Capitol Hill riots.
“The result, at least four members of Congress to date, including a cancer survivor, now have Covid-19 who were in those rooms,” he said.
Biden previewed that after he was inaugurated, he would sign an executive order requiring mask-wearing on all federal property, including plane and train travel.
“One of our 100-day challenges is to mask up everyone,” Biden said. “The day we are inaugurated, I’m going to ask you to mask up for the next 100 days. This is not a political issue.”