Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz wears gas mask to vote on coronavirus spending bill


WASHINGTON (WFLA) – Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz wore what appeared to be a gas mask on the House floor Wednesday afternoon as Congress voted on a supplemental spending bill for the coronavirus.

The Republican congressman tweeted a photo of himself wearing the mask saying, “reviewing the coronavirus supplemental appropriation and preparing to go vote.”

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) also tweeted a photo of his fellow congressman, saying, “you won’t believe the shoes Matt Gaetz is wearing today” with #FloridaMan.

Gaetz has not said why exactly he’s wearing the mask. But CNBC reporter Christina Wilkie says the Florida representative complained earlier Wednesday that “the House floor was a ‘petri dish’ for diseases.”

The House did pass the bipartisan bill in a 415-2 vote on Wednesday afternoon. Rep. Gaetz voted yes.

The bill is an $8.3 billion emergency spending measure to battle the coronavirus outbreak that’s spreading throughout some states, including Florida. All three of Florida’s cases so far are in the Tampa Bay area.

Doctors and health officials have told people who are concerned about the coronavirus that wearing masks is not an effective way to protect yourself from the virus. The U.S. Surgeon General tweeted late last month to stop buying masks.


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