ERIC Swalwell is a politician serving as the US Representative for California's 15th congressional district since 2015.
Swalwell was involved in a verbal altercation in the House with Republican Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene's spokesman Nick Dyer on Friday, May 14.
Who is Eric Swalwell?
Swalwell's, 40, district covers most of eastern Alameda County and parts of central Contra Costa County.
In November 2012, Swalwell was elected to represent the state's congressional 15th district after defeating incumbent Pete Stark in the general election.
Prior to his defeat to Swalwell, Stark was a 40-year incumbent who had held the office since 1973.
The California native took office in January 2013 and was a candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries from April through July 2019.
During his service in the House, Swalwell has become known for innovative and extensive use of social media to connect with constituents.
Swalwell shares two children with his ex-wife Brittany Ann Watts.
What did Eric Swalwell say to Marjorie Taylor Greene's staffer Nick Dyer?
On Friday, May 14, The Hill's reporter Scott Wong reported that Swalwell and Greene spokesperson Dyer got into a "verbal altercation" over the use of masks.
The confrontation stemmed from the May 13 updated CDC guidelines that states fully vaccinated individuals do not need to cover their faces indoors or outdoors, in certain circumstances.
"[Joe] Biden says you can take off your mask," Dyer reportedly told Swalwell, to which the congressman replied, "You don't tell me what to f**king do."
In a tweet, Swalwell confirmed the altercation happened and that he cursed out Dyer.
"I had a mask on as I stepped off the Floor. An aide with @mtgreenee yelled at me to take my mask off," he tweeted.
"No one should be bullied for wearing a mask. So I told the bully what I thought of his order. Predictably, he went speechless. I regret I wasn’t more explicit."
Despite the new CDC guidance, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has opted not to lift the House's mask mandate, citing the fact that it's unclear how many lawmakers have been vaccinated.
What are the new CDC guidelines?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has eased indoor mask-wearing guidelines for fully vaccinated people.
The May 13 announcement comes as the CDC and the Biden administration faced pressure to ease restrictions for those who have received protection from Covid-19.
The CDC announced that vaccinated Americans don't need to wear masks indoors or outdoors unless they are using public transportation or are at the doctor's office.
"If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic," the CDC said in a statement.
"The science is clear: if you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic."
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky added: “We have all longed for this moment – when we can get back to some sense of normalcy."
The easing of restrictions comes with US coronavirus cases at their lowest rate since September, deaths are at their lowest point since last April and the test positivity rate is at the lowest point since the pandemic began.
Walensky announced the new guidance at a White House briefing. She said those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks indoors.
She emphasized that the more people continue to get vaccinated, the faster infections will drop – and the harder it will be for the virus to mutate enough to escape vaccines.
The CDC leader also urged everyone 12 and older who’s not yet vaccinated to sign up.
However, she said people who have weak immune systems should speak with their doctors before removing their masks.
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