Congresswomen Test Positive For COVID After Sheltering With Maskless Republicans During Capitol Riot
Two congresswomen have tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering with Republicans who refused to wear masks during the Capitol riot.
At the time of writing, the US has seen more than 22.7 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with more than 376,000 deaths.
On January 6, as pro-Trump supporters stormed the federal building, forcing lawmakers in Congress to seek safety until the Capitol was secured, some Republicans didn’t wear face coverings. One Democratic congresswoman says the riot created a ‘superspreader event’ on top of the chaos.
On Monday night, January 11, Pramila Jayapal revealed she’d tested positive for COVID-19, with her statement taking aim at Republicans who refused to wear face masks while they all sheltered from the siege. ‘Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them,’ she said.
Jayapal continued: ‘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.’
The congresswoman added she’s isolating as per the Capitol Physician’s instructions, urging she will ‘continue to work to the best of my ability because the deep urgency of our many crises is paramount’.
Her statement noted: ‘I share the outrage and anger of my constituents and those across this country who have watched Donald Trump fail to combat this raging pandemic and refuse to take care of Americans who are suffering, dying, and devastated.’
It concluded: ‘Now, we have also watched him openly fuel and incite these insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol and our democracy on January 6 — so I will not rest until I do everything in my power to remove this President from office.’
New Jersey congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman also tested positive for COVID-19, with her office’s statement explaining: ‘She believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the US Capitol building as a result of insurrectionist riots. As reported by multiple news outlets, a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks.’
Coleman, a cancer survivor, said: ‘While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents.’
Dr. Brian Monahan, head of the Congress’ Office of the Attending Physician, recently warned that politicians who’d sought shelter together may have been exposed to coronavirus during the riot.
In an email, as per the New York Post, he wrote: ‘The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others. During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.’
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CreditsPramila Jayapal and 2 others
Bonnie Watson Coleman
New York Post