While many members appear to be wearing masks, a video shows hundreds of lawmakers wandering the chamber, talking to each other in close contact and shaking hands.
New York Times reporter Emily Cochrane called the scene “utter chaos,” noting that some lawmakers had removed their masks to speak. She added that after the swearing-in ceremony, a “bottleneck of people” rushed to leave, “barely” trying to distance themselves socially.
Pelosi posted a tweet after the ceremony in which she said that “the most urgent priority of Congress will continue to be to defeat the coronavirus”.
However, a Pelosi spokesperson did not immediately return FOX News’ request to comment on the event’s lack of social distancing.
According to latest data from Johns Hopkins University, the United States has passed 20.6 million cases of coronavirus and more than 351,000 Americans have died since the start of the pandemic.