A unit of the DC National Guard outside the Capitol. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Four Democratic members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 since the Capitol insurrection last Wednesday.
Lawmakers were forced to shelter together in a secure location for hours. Several Republican representatives were caught on video refusing to wear masks.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey was the first lawmaker to announce a positive test on Monday, followed by Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Brad Schneider of Illinois, and Adriano Espaillat of New York.
COVID-19 symptoms can appear two to 14 days after infection, and experts recommend getting tested five to seven days after possible exposure.
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Four Democratic members of Congress have announced that they’ve tested positive for COVID-19 since the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, when over 100 members of Congress sheltered together in a secure location for hours.
A video showed several Republican representatives in the room refusing to wear masks.
Footage obtained by Punchbowl News on Friday showed Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Michael Cloud of Texas gathering together talking without masks and rebuffing Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware when she tried to offer them masks.
In addition to the members of Congress, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts announced on Wednesday that her husband, who was with her during the attack on the Capitol, had also tested positive for COVID-19.
Scientists say that crowded gatherings in indoor spaces with subpar ventilation, especially where people are speaking and not wearing masks, is an environment where the coronavirus thrives and spreads easily.
It takes two to 14 days, on average, for an infected person to show symptoms of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts recommend getting tested five to seven days after possible exposure.
While it’s possible that some of the representatives were infected elsewhere and not in the secure holding location, some of those who tested positive have since blamed their maskless Republican colleagues.
Read more: I was offered a covid vaccine even though I’m young and healthy. Here’s how I did it.
Here are the members of Congress who have tested positive:
Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York announced on Thursday that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois said on Tuesday morning that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff,” Schneider tweeted.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington said in a statement on Monday night that she had tested positive.
“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them,” Jayapal said. “Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic – creating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack.”
Jayapal told MSNBC on Wednesday that her husband had also tested positive for COVID-19.
CBS News’ footage of the House chamber during the insurrection showed Jayapal without a face mask and holding an escape hood. The video was filmed before lawmakers were moved to a secure location where Republicans were seen not wearing masks while talking to one another.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey was the first member of Congress to announce a positive COVID-19 test on Monday afternoon. Watson Coleman is 75 years old and a cancer survivor.
“I am home resting at this time. While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents,” she tweeted.
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