As coronavirus surged across the Texas Hill Country, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) complained Wednesday about vaccinations and masks, including a mandate to wear them in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Roy represents the 21st Congressional District, including Kerr County. After voting to certify the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden, Roy has steadily voted against a raft of issues, including giving medals to Capitol Police in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
"We have a crisis at our border, and we are playing footsie with mask mandates in the people's house," Roy said. "It's absolutely absurd what this body is doing, the people's house. It's an embarrassment, a mockery, and the American people are fed up. They want to go back to life. They want to go back to business. They want to go back to school without their children being forced to wear masks, to be put in the corner, to have mental health issues."
Roy questioned the efficacy of masks and vaccines during his speech in elevated tones. He was received standing-ovation from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Georgia), who has been explicit in her opposition to masks.
"We are absolutely sick and tired of this, and so are the American people. This sham of an institution is doing nothing for the American people, nothing for the betterment of the people that sent their representatives here. Which is it, vaccines or masks? Do the vaccines work or they don't work? Do the masks work or they don't work? I'd like to know which it is. I'd like Dr. Fauci to come down and answer a single question about natural immunity. You've been infected with the virus, you have immunity. …Or are they just going to go around poking people, saying you must take a vaccine? Oh but sorry the vaccine doesn't work, you must wear a mask. This institution is a sham, and we should adjourn and shut this place down."
Esquire magazine writer Charles Pierce described Roy's rant this way: "Shut the House of Representatives down because Chip Roy doesn't understand virology, immunology, epidemiology, vaccines, inoculations, masks, or how to avoid sounding like the geek at the zoning board who's worried about the UN? That seems…harsh."
In a statement, Roy said he was supportive of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's efforts not to enforce mask mandates.
"This will not end until Americans stop complying with edicts from power-obsessed public health' experts,' Roy said. "Americans are capable of making their own health decisions and should be able to choose freedom over fear.
"I applaud Governor Abbott's decision to stand up for Texans and not enforce a mask mandate in our state, and I will do everything in my power to hold Fauci, officials at the CDC, and the like accountable for their destruction. But we will not lock down again."
Last month, Roy was maskless on a Southwest Airlines flight from Texas to Washington, D.C. — resisting federal regulations to wear a mask on a flight. Roy has already been fined for flouting mask rules in the House of Representatives.