U.S. Sen. Rand Paul drew a public scolding on Capitol Hill on Thursday from a Democrat who was upset that Paul wasn’t wearing a mask during a Senate budget debate.
"I would like to ask Senator Paul, in front of everybody, to start wearing a mask on the Senate floor like the entire staff does all the time," U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said during the session, with his nose and mouth covered with a mask at the time.
"I wish Senator Paul would show the respect to his colleagues to wear a mask," Brown added.
Paul had the floor at the time and Brown spoke when senators were permitted to raise objections to the Kentucky Republican’s budget remarks. Paul did not immediately respond to Brown’s request.
Last March, Paul became the first U.S. senator to test positive for the virus and spent time in quarantine afterward.
He soon returned to the Senate after remaining asymptomatic and has claimed that he is immune from catching the virus a second time, Cincinnati.com reported.
The Cleveland Clinic counters that reinfection is possible but rare, the report said.
In November, Paul appeared on Fox News’ "The Story" with Martha MacCallum and claimed that Dt. Anthony Fauci was "glossing over the science" by advising recovered coronavirus patients to continue wearing masks.
Instead, "we should tell them to celebrate," Paul told MacCallum at the time. "We should tell them to throw away their masks, go to restaurants, live again – because these people are now immune."
Paul’s view, however, ran contrary to advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of Feb. 2, the CDC made masks mandatory on all modes of public transportation in the U.S., as well as at airports and bus and rail stations.
But disagreements on mask-wearing continue across the U.S.
On Thursday, for example, Wisconsin’s GOP-controlled General Assembly passed a resolution to repeal the state’s mask mandate and public health emergency related to the coronavirus, The Hill reported.
Soon after, however, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, issued a new emergency order and mask mandate, citing reports of "more contagious strains" of the virus arriving in the U.S., the report said.
On Capitol Hill, Thursday wasn’t the first time Ohio’s Brown has been vocal about the subject of his colleagues wearing masks during Senate sessions, Cincinnati.com reported.
In November, Brown chastised a maskless Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, drawing criticism on social media from several other Senate Republicans, the report said.