Wilmington: President-elect Joe Biden on Friday admonished Republican lawmakers who did not wear face masks while huddling in a secure location during the mob attack on the US Capitol last week despite the threat of coronavirus. 

“Quite frankly it was shocking to see members of the Congress while the Capitol was under siege by a deadly mob of thugs refuse to wear a mask while they were in secure locations,” Biden said during remarks to announce his vaccine plan in Wilmington, Del.

"I'm so proud of my congresswoman right here in the state of Delaware, Lisa Blunt Rochester, trying to hand out masks while people were lying on the floor, huddled up. And Republican colleagues refusing to put them on.”

“What the hell is the matter with them? It’s time to grow up,” Biden continued. “For God’s sake, wear a mask if not for yourself, for your loved ones, for your country.”

He also more broadly condemned the politicization of a measure that has been repeatedly proven to decrease the transmission of the coronavirus.

Several members of Congress were huddled in secure locations during last week's Capitol insurgency that left five people dead. At least three Democratic House members tested positive for Covid-19 after sheltering with Republicans who refused to wear masks.

Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) revealed their diagnoses this week, and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman announced her positive test on Monday. Coleman is a 75-year-old cancer survivor.

Public health experts for months have touted masks as a critical tool for stopping the asymptomatic spread of COVID-19, but the practice has become politicized in part due to President Trump’s frequent refusal to wear one in public.

Biden reiterated Friday that he plans to call on all Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office. He said he will sign an executive order to mandate masks where he has the authority to do so – such as on federal property – and ask governors and mayors to implement orders requiring masks. A number of states and localities already have such orders in place.

Biden condemned anti-mask members while unveiling his Covid-19 vaccination plan in Wilmington, Del. During his remarks, he reiterated plans to mandate masks in public spaces once he takes office and implored Americans not to politicize the safety measure.

"I know it's become a partisan issue, but what a stupid, stupid thing for it to happen. This is a patriotic act," Biden said of wearing masks.