Masks Are A Choice

July 29, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) delivered floor remarks regarding how there should be no more mask mandates.


To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.



You can read the transcript below or in the Congressional Record.


Mr. President, I am pleased to come and join my

colleagues on the floor today and have a discussion about what is

taking place here in this Capitol Building.

Now, my colleague from Utah just mentioned something that I think is

so important: being able to disagree agreeably, having a difference of

opinion, and showing respect to other people.

This Nation has remained strong and vibrant and free because we

believe in robust, respectful, bipartisan debate. We do not lock up or

silence or push or disappear people who disagree with us and our

beliefs--and what we see happening in the House, where the Capitol

Police would have the ability to haul staffers and visitors to jail for

their decision not to wear a mask.

Now, think about that. It would be not wearing a mask--a choice,

making a choice to not wear a mask. So it is important for us to

realize this is a difference of opinion.

We have told the American people: Get vaccinated. I have chosen to be

vaccinated. So have most of my family. Get the vaccine. That is kind of

like your ticket to freedom from wearing a mask, if you choose. You

don't have to put that mask on if you get vaccinated.

But now what are we hearing? Masks are coming back. The science is

very divided on the value of a mask. Is it just to protect you? Is it

to protect others? Do masks serve as a disincentive for people to

actually get the vaccine? Which is what we have encouraged people to

do: Talk to your physician, make certain the vaccine is right for you,

and get the vaccine so you don't have to wear the mask.

Now, one of the things that we know is this: COVID is here to stay.

We are going to continue to have COVID-19 in our presence. We know

that, but we also know that this that is happening today is not

necessarily about masks. This is about continuing to perpetrate these

lockdowns; that we have had a series of lockdowns and scares and things

where we are pulling back on freedom and giving power to the government

and lessening the ability for individual choices. That is what this is


There is no deliberation that appears to have gone into this newest

mandate from the Speaker of the House, but you don't need deliberation

when you have decided that you can just resort to threats such as this:

locking up staffers and visitors if they do not wear a mask on the

House side.

Just over the past few days, we have seen high-profile Democrats

buying right into this new tactic. Here is some of what we have been

hearing. And, you know, as a mom and a grandmom, I hear a lot from moms

and grandmoms. And my text threads and email and phone calls--Mr.

President, you just wouldn't even believe it. They feel like

our colleagues across the aisle are just forgetting that science--

science--has weighed in on this issue.

And now they are hearing these threats, threatening to keep our

children out of school, not letting them go back to school in

September. We don't need to go to school. Teachers unions, not sure

they want to go back to school in September. But, oh, by the way, if

you do go back to school, they might want to put your children in


Children, little kids in school, we have heard it from pediatricians,

we have all read the articles--there are truly some adverse side

effects to little children being told to wear a mask every day. There

are physical, there are emotional, there are psychological adverse

effects to these children--not mentioning some I have heard from

pediatricians about the danger of children not knowing how to wear the

mask. And they touch the mask, and then they put a dirty mask back up

over their nose and their mouth and the concerns that that brings.

What we are hearing about our children in school is of tremendous

concern to the moms who are out there. We are hearing they are

threatening families and small businesses with yet another lockdown to


I have a lot of friends who are in the retail industry. And right

now, you know what they are doing? They are beginning to get in

merchandise for the fourth quarter. They have used their lines of

credit to make certain there is merchandise in their stores.

These are mom-and-pop stores. These are small businesses. They are on

Main Street in every small town in this country, just like they are in

Tennessee. And the decisions that are being made here make them very

nervous and very uncomfortable because they are thinking: All right.

What if we go into a lockdown? What if people can't get into my store?

And here I have finally made it through COVID and I am looking forward

to a good fourth quarter, and now we are getting this kind of

information out of Washington, DC.

All of this is not rational. There is no evidence--none--to suggest

that yet another about-face on masking is going to keep people

healthier, is going to make them healthier. There is no evidence for


So let's call it what it is. This is leftwing hysteria. This is

hysteria. Frighten people. Make them think a lockdown is coming. Make

them think things are worse than what they are.

No. This is the United States of America. We do not lock up people we

disagree with. We don't push forward with this type of activity. We

don't silence our opponents. We believe in free speech. We believe in

individuals being able to make their choices.

And I think that it is fair to say what the Speaker of the House has

done is not trusting the science that brought us this vaccine. And

thank goodness President Donald Trump brought about Operation Warp

Speed and issued a challenge to our Federal Agencies, issued a

challenge to our pharmaceutical companies, and said: Let's see if we

can find a way to defeat this virus.

There is a vaccine there. I think what you see happening with the

Democrats and with the Speaker of the House is what we in Tennessee

call having a good old-fashioned come-apart because they are not

getting their way.

And the American people do not believe that they are getting serious

about doing serious business that the American people want to see:

addressing out-of-control spending, addressing the needs of this