The Nevada assemblywoman identified as Annie Black then refused to put her mask back on claiming that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that masks are no longer required. But of course, this guideline only applies to Americans who are fully vaccinated and Black refused to confirm whether or not she was.
“What President Biden, Gov. Sisolak and Speaker Frierson, and the CDC are doing is setting a trap to usher in ‘vaccine passports,’ ” Black said in her newsletter. “Either PROVE you’ve been vaccinated or become a second-class citizen. Papers, please.”
She added that it was her body and choice whether or not to be vaccinated.
But it doesn’t end there. After creating a scene on the floor Tuesday, Black returned Wednesday again without a mask. This resulted in the group voting to remove her speaking and voting privileges because she continuously and intentionally was breaking new legislative protocols.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, assembly members noted that Black was in violation of Rule 150, which stated: “… a member shall cover his or her mouth and nose with a multi-layer cloth face covering and observe social distancing guidelines in accordance with recommendations of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when in … [either] House Chamber of the Legislative Building.”
In order for her to regain her lost privileges Black was told to apologize, which of course she refused to do. “Trust me, this ain’t over,” she wrote in a newsletter on Thursday. She also took to Twitter to express that she would “not back down” and retweeted a post equating the Nevada Legislature to “Nazis.”
This isn’t the first time Black has come under fire for her actions. Black was also found to be one of the local lawmakers who attended protests in Washington, D.C., on the day of the Jan. 6 insurrection. But while she’s making headlines for her commentary and response to the voting and speaking ban, Black isn’t the only one who refused to wear a mask on the floor.
Another lawmaker also refused to comply with mask regulations in addition to refusing to state whether she was vaccinated on Thursday. According to the Associated Press, Assemblywoman Jill Dickman was escorted out of the floor Thursday after staff told her that she would have to prove that she had been vaccinated. She participated remotely in the meeting. “I am not sharing my personal medical information with anyone,” she said. “Apparently we have de facto vaccine passports in the Legislative Building.”
For months the Nevada state house has had back and forth arguments on what restrictions should be placed or lifted. Republican legislators have argued in favor of opening the legislature after bars, restaurants, and casinos opened; however, Democrats who control the statehouse have argued otherwise. The building was initially closed to the public except for a limited number of reporters prior to April.
The current mask standoff of staff and visitors wearing masks if not fully vaccinated could continue until the end of session on May 31. It’s sad how far some people will take things instead of simply apologizing.