3rd House lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 after lockdown during Capitol attack

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Washington — A third House lawmaker has tested positive for COVID-19 after being exposed to the virus while in lockdown with some Republican members who refused to wear masks during the attack on the Capitol last week, bringing the total number who have so far tested positive to three. 

The announcements from Democratic Representatives Brad Schneider, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Pramila Jayapal come days after the attending physician for the Capitol warned members they may have been “exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”

Congressman Brad Schneider announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 in a statement on Tuesday, and blamed Republicans for spreading the virus.

“Last Wednesday, after narrowly escaping a violent mob incited by the President of the United States to attack the Capitol and its occupants, I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress. Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask…even when politely asked by their colleagues,” Schneider said. “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.”

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Left to right: Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Brad Schneider, who tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering in place with other House members during the Capitol riot.

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Watson Coleman, a 75-year-old cancer survivor, was the first to announce on Monday that she had tested positive. Watson Coleman had previously received the first dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, which was made available to members of government. The vaccine requires two doses to be fully effective.

Jayapal noted in her statement released later on Monday that “several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one.” Video obtained by Punchbowl News last week showed several Republican members declining to wear masks, even as they were locked in a secure location for several hours.

“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 said, adding that she was self-isolated. She also called for “serious fines to be immediately levied on every single member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol.”

Schneider echoed Jayapal, saying that members who “flout public health guidance should be sanctioned and immediately removed from the House floor by the sergeant-at-arms for their reckless endangerment of their colleagues.”



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