Recently, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) — alongside Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) — sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over fines imposed because of a refusal to wear face masks on the House floor during a vote, and now, Norman has reported that he has tested positive for COVID-19. Contrary to the assertions of certain Republicans, the virus remains a serious threat, with cases and hospitalizations — and, to a lesser but still present extent, deaths — increasing around the country recently. Increases have been particularly prominent in Florida, Texas, California, and elsewhere.
Norman was vaccinated prior to his current case of COVID-19, making his situation another one of the so-called “breakthrough” cases that have affected certain vaccinated individuals. Although the overwhelming majority of vaccinated individuals in this country have not tested positive, a small portion have contracted the virus, leading in part to continued pushes for wearing face masks. Norman, Greene, and Massie were originally fined $500 apiece after a vote in May when they refused to wear face coverings, and with their new lawsuit, they’re hoping to get the fines lifted and declared unconstitutional.
Arrogantly, the legal team for Norman and the other House members who sued Pelosi wrote in their recent lawsuit that the “masking requirement was an attempt to prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, medicine, and science, despite a deep divide over these issues of opinion,” although whether or not face masks can help stop the spread of COVID-19 is not a matter of “opinion.” The lawsuit also claimed that the mask requirement had “been used to force Plaintiffs and other members of the minority party to be instruments for fostering public adherence to this ideological point of view that Plaintiffs find unacceptable.” It’s laughable for them to use such grandiose language regarding a requirement to simply wear a face mask on the House floor. There’s not some conspiracy to obtain subservience from members of the public — there’s a pandemic.