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3 House members test positive for coronavirus after sheltering in place at Capitol

Representatives point to GOP lawmakers who refuse to wear masks
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Posted at 10:50 AM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 11:52:19-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Three members of the House of Representatives have announced they’ve tested positive for the coronavirus since sheltering in place during the attack on the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.

Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill. was the latest to announce his diagnosis, saying he tested positive for the virus Tuesday morning. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J. both announced on Monday that they tested positive.

In their statements, all three lawmakers pointed to Republicans who refused to wear masks during the lockdown of the Capitol.

“Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask, as demonstrated in video from Punchbowl News, even when politely asked by their colleagues,” said Schneider. “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.”

Jayapal accused her GOP colleagues who don’t wear masks of endangering 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 super spreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack,” said Jayapal.

Jayapal said she’s calling for “serious fines” to be levied on the members of Congress who refuse to wear masks in the Capitol. She also suggested those without masks should be removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms.

Schneider, Jayapal and Watson Coleman all say they’re isolating at home. Schneider said he’s not yet experiencing symptoms. Jayapal didn’t mention anything about symptoms. And Watson Coleman, a 75-year-old cancer survivor, said she has mild symptoms and is receiving an antibody treatment.

“I received a positive test result for COVID-19, and 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,” said Watson Coleman.

The positive tests of these three congresspeople come after the Capitol’s attending physician notified lawmakers on Sunday that they may have been exposed to someone who had COVID-19 while they sheltered from the violent siege.

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