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Mullin Seen On Video Refusing To Mask In Crowded Room While Sheltering During Attack

Punchbowl News
In a video released by Punchbowl News, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), standing, center, refuses a mask when offered one by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.).

This story was updated at 8:41 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to include news of a second House lawmaker, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), testing positive for COVID-19 after the lockdown.


Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) was captured on video refusing to wear a mask when offered one as lawmakers sheltered in a crowded conference room during the dramatic Wednesday attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

In the video released by Punchbowl News, Mullin is seen standing, maskless, with newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a follower of the conspiracy theory QAnon who was condemned by House leadership for racist remarks during her campaign, also unmasked. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), masked herself, offers the two surgical masks.

"I'm not trying to get political here," Mullin says on the video, refusing to accept one as Taylor Greene smirks.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) announced Monday that, "Following the events of Wednesday, including sheltering with several colleagues who refused to wear masks, I decided to take a Covid test. I have tested positive." It's not clear whether Watson Coleman sheltered in the same location as Mullin.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) announced early Tuesday that she, too, had tested positive.

"I just received a positive COVID-19 test result after being locked down in a secured room at the Capitol where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one," Jayapal said in a statement.

"Only hours after Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic—creating a superspreader event ON TOP of a domestic terrorist attack. Any Member who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy. I'm calling for every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol to be fined and removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms."

It is unclear if Jayapal was in the same room as either Mullin or Watson Coleman.

The Associated Press reports the Capitol's attending physician notified lawmakers Sunday that they were potentially exposed during lockdown, though he did not name the legislator or staff member who tested positive.

The attack on the Capitol by Trump loyalists, which left five people dead, was fueled by months of false conspiracy theories spread by the president and his allies, including Mullin, that the election was somehow "stolen" from President Trump by President-elect Joe Biden. After the attack, Mullin still voted to object to certification of the Electoral College results for Arizona and Pennsylvania, despite no evidence of any widespread election fraud.

Mullin's office did not respond to a request for comment on his refusal to mask in the secured location, nor to multiple requests since the attack on whether he would denounce or disavow the president's lies about the election or his rhetoric leading up to, during and after the insurrection.

Chris joined Public Radio Tulsa as a news anchor and reporter in April 2020. He’s a graduate of Hunter College and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, both at the City University of New York.
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