Hundreds of lawmakers and staff gathered in a 'crowded' location after the Capitol siege but some Republicans refused to wear masks, lawmaker says
  • Rep. Susan Wild said hundreds of lawmakers and staff were crowded into a secure location after the Capitol siege, but that "about half" declined to wear masks.
  • Lawmakers evacuated the Capitol after a violent mob of Trump supporters successfully breached the building in an attempt to prevent the certification of the Electoral College vote.
  • Wild said hundreds were held in the secure location, but some Republicans refused masks even after being offered them. She called it a "COVID super spreader event."
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Rep. Susan Wild said hundreds of lawmakers and staff were crowded into a secure location after the Capitol siege, but that many in the room declined to wear masks, flouting coronavirus recommendations.

Wild, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, told CBS News that 300 to 400 people were held in the location and that she viewed it as a "COVID super spreader event."

"About half of the people in the room are not wearing masks," she said. "Even though they've been offered surgical masks, they refuse to wear them."

She said the people refusing masks were Republicans, especially those that were recently elected.

"Some of the newer Republican members are openly flaunting that they are refusing to wear a mask," she said.

Wild was in lockdown with other lawmakers after a violent siege by pro-Trump rioters forced the Capitol to be evacuated over safety concerns.

Lawmakers were gathered for a joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College vote through a process that is usually procedural. The session was interrupted when the mob, fresh from the "March for Trump" rally, successfully breached the Capitol.

Wild was in the upper level of the House gallery when rioters entered the building. She was captured in a photo taking cover and clutching her chest as Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado tried to comfort her before the lawmakers were taken to the secure location.

On the same day of the siege, the COVID Tracking Project reported 3,793 COVID-19 deaths, the second-highest tally recorded since the pandemic began.

A number of US lawmakers have also tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks.

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