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
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