A retiring Florida (congress)man said Friday that “there’s just no need” to wear a mask while milling around the Capitol.
CNN’s Manu Raju spotted Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) on the House floor and around the Capitol grounds without a mask, at one point having a lengthy conversation within a couple feet of another man.
The photo is from today of Yoho, having an extended conversation without a mask pic.twitter.com/rPZ6VEzW4g
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 15, 2020
Yoho, a Trump ally who aligned himself with the Tea Party, told CNN there was no need to wear a mask because of “herd immunity.”
“Viruses do what viruses do,” the congressman told CNN.
Asked if he felt he was protected by herd immunity, Yoho responded: “I think the only way you’re going to get it is to get exposed.”
The congressman’s reasoning is a little cloudy.
Herd immunity occurs when so many people become immune to an infectious disease (through infection or a vaccine) that it slows the disease’s spread. The World Health Organization has warned that there is no evidence of developed immunity to COVID-19 after an infection, but infectious disease experts have said COVID-19 survivors are reasonably likely to develop some immunity to the disease.
The United States is far from achieving herd immunity with COVID-19, and doing so without a vaccine would cost a great number of lives.
“Humans are not herds,” one World Health Organization official reminded the human race this week.
A spokesperson for Yoho did not return TPM’s request for comment.
In December, Yoho said he was retiring at the end of his current term.