Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Explains Why She Claimed the Moon Is Made ‘Mostly of Gases’

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) says she simply “misspoke” when, in a speech to school children this week, she confidently explained that the moon is “made up mostly of gases.”Speaking at Booker R. Washington High School in Houston before the solar eclipse Monday, Jackson Lee made a series of bizarre remarks in which she also

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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) says she simply “misspoke” when, in a speech to school children this week, she confidently explained that the moon is “made up mostly of gases.”

Speaking at Booker R. Washington High School in Houston before the solar eclipse Monday, Jackson Lee made a series of bizarre remarks in which she also incorrectly referred to the moon as a planet. “A full moon is that complete rounded circle which is made up mostly of gases, and that’s why the question is why or how could we as humans live on the moon?” she said. “Are the gases such that we could do that?”

“The sun is a mighty powerful heat, but it’s almost impossible to go near the sun,” Jackson Lee continued. “The moon is more manageable, and you will see in a moment—not a moment, you will see in a couple of years—that NASA is going back to the moon.”

She went on to say: “We have yet to know whether you can live on the moon. But I don’t know about you, I want to be first in line to know how to live and to be able to survive on the moon—that’s another planet which we’re going to see shortly.”

In a press release promoting the congresswoman’s appearance at the school, her office pointed out that Jackson Lee had previously “served as a member of the Science Committee and the Ranking Member on the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee,” and that she would be there to “highlight the experience” of the eclipse.

As clips of her peculiar comments drew mockery online, Jackson Lee hit back.

Replying on X to one comment shading her moon-is-mostly-gases comment, Jackson wrote: “Obviously I misspoke and meant to say the sun, but as usual, Republicans are focused on stupid things instead of stuff that really matters. What can I say though, foolish thinkers lust for stupidity!”

Some users replied to point out that if that was true, then what she was actually intending to ask (i.e. whether or not human beings could live on the sun) is arguably even more baffling than being under the misapprehension that the moon is made of gas.

Jackson Lee went on to say that Republicans should focus less on calling her out and more on prenatal care, affordable housing, and reducing student debt.

“Also, I care more about these children who would not have experienced the eclipse in this enthusiastic manner,” she added. “And, I care more about protecting the rights of women and children than engaging in this kind of senseless dialogue!”

Strangely, this isn’t the first time Jackson Lee has made a public gaffe related to the moon. While serving on the House Science Committee in 1997, she reportedly asked if the Mars Pathfinder rover had managed to capture images of an American flag planted on the red planet by Neil Armstrong, presumably incorrectly referring to the flag Armstrong planted on the moon in 1969.

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