Second lawmaker tests positive for Covid after Capitol lockdown

Grant Boone
January 12, 2021

Monahan urged House members who were in that room to be tested for the virus, to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

She stated, however, that she was awaiting the results of a PCR test and said she previously received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID19 vaccine, which has been made available to members of Congress and other government officials.

In a tweet, Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said she had taken a test after being trapped in a secure room with fellow lawmakers, and that she had tested positive. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) announced Sunday that he tested positive after his roommate, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), tested positive on January 6, before the riots.

Overnight, a second lawmaker said she had tested positive for Covid-19 after sheltering in place with lawmakers who refused to wear masks during the violent rioting at the U.S. Capitol last week.

Jayapal says she is convinced more positive test results will follow, claiming that being forced to huddle in the room will turn out to be "a superspreader event". She tweeted, "Following the events of Wednesday, including sheltering with several colleagues who refused to wear masks, I chose to take a Covid test".

Meanwhile, video from inside the room, obtained by Punchbowl News, showed several Republican lawmakers not wearing masks - including Congressman Andy Biggs (Arizona), Michael Cloud (Texas), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia), Markwayne Mullin (Oklahoma) and Scott Perry (Pennsylvania).

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The four foreign ministers said the next legislative election should include candidates representing a range of political opinions.

While I was disappointed in my colleagues who refused to wear a mask, I was encouraged by those who did.

"I am also calling for serious fines to be immediately levied on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol", Jayapal said.

Rep. Lisa Blunt, D-N.Y., who tried to hand out masks, said on Twitter last week that she sought to make the room "a little bit safer" in the midst of "what I feared was a super spreader event". "It's an issue of public safety".

Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told McClatchy that it would likely be a "surge event".

Scott Gotlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said Sunday on the CBS News program "Face the Nation, "There's going to be chains of transmission that come out of that kind of mass gathering". "These individuals all are going in cars and trains and planes going home all across the country right now". "So I do think this is an event that will probably lead to a significant spreading event".

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