- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 14, 2021

To mask or not to mask? The question is faced by employers, partygoers, nightclubs, law enforcement, schoolchildren, business owners and just about everyone else — including the U.S. Congress.

Face masks, in fact, became a signature fashion statement for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who continues to appear before her peers and the TV cameras in an ever-changing array of masks carefully chosen to enhance her wardrobe.

Multiple news organizations covered this phenomenon, while uncovering the fact that the masks themselves were hand-sewn, custom-made and cost $22 each.

“While President Trump refuses to mask up in front of cameras, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is using facial coverings as a tool for personal and political expression,” noted fashion magazine Elle, in an account published May 26, 2020.

Meanwhile, a new Economist/YouGov poll finds that 62% of Americans say that lawmakers absolutely should be required to wear masks in public spaces like the U.S. Capitol. Even so, there’s a partisan divide.

Only 40% of Republicans agree with requiring Congress members to mask up, compared to 53% of independents and 89% of Democrats, according to the poll conducted earlier this month.

Meanwhile, 24% of the respondents overall say the lawmakers should not be required to wear a mask; 46% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.

Last but not least, 14% overall are simply not sure about the issue; that includes 14% of Republicans, 15% of independents and 8% of Democrats.

The poll of 1,500 U.S. adults was conducted Aug. 7-10 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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