The list of Congressional members who have tested positive this week for coronavirus is growing. Now three people have tested positive in the last two days. Today Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tied her diagnosis to the siege of Capitol Hill, blaming the behavior of some of her colleagues:
I just received a positive COVID-19 test result after being locked down in a secured room at the Capitol where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one.
The 55-year-old did not say whether she was experiencing symptoms, but in a statement, she wrote:
Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them. 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.
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) also blames the incident for his diagnosis:
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 says he is not experiencing any symptoms. The 59-year-old is now calling for Congress to crack down on those not wearing a mask.
On Monday, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) also announced she was positive. Her office said, “She believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of insurrectionist riots.” The 75-year old cancer survivor says she is experiencing mild symptoms.
All three members of Congress have received a coronavirus vaccine. Jayapal and Scheider received it on January 4th, just two days before the siege on Capitol Hill. It’s unclear when Watson Coleman received it. But to achieve immunity a second dose is required.