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COVID fears grow in Capitol as three lawmakers test positive | US & World News – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2021-01-12 17:18:27 –

Washington (AP) — Within about 24 hours, three Democrats announced they were COVID-19 positive, raising concerns that last week’s parliamentary riots turned into a superspreading event that threatened lawmakers and their health. Caused. staff.

Those who tested positive were among the dozens of lawmakers who were taken to a safe place when a Trump-supporting rebel attacked the Capitol on Wednesday. Some members of Congress flocked to large rooms for hours, while others were there for a shorter period of time.

It’s unclear when and where the legislators got sick, but the attending physician of the Capitol notified all members of the House of Representatives of possible virus exposure and urged them to be tested. Dr. Brian Moynihan said members who had been quarantined last Wednesday “may have been exposed to another resident of a coronavirus infection.”

The three Democrats angered some Republicans who refused the opportunity to wear masks in a safe room, despite their role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Even if masks were provided, videos of Republicans refusing to wear them surfaced.

“Today I am worried that I may be angry with the selfishness and arrogance of anti-maskers who endanger the health of their wives and ignore their contempt and dignity rather than the health and safety of their colleagues and us. The staff. ” Congressman Brad Schneider, D-Ill. Said on Tuesday.

Schneider’s comment came hours hours after a similar statement from Republican Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so they endanger everyone around them,” said Jayapal. “Only hours after President Trump launched a deadly attack on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans still have minimal COVID-19 precautions. I refused to take it. “

New Jersey lawmaker Bonnie Watson Coleman said Monday that the COVID-19 test was positive.

All three members are isolated. Schneider said she had no symptoms, but Watson Coleman said she had experienced mild cold-like symptoms. Jayapal didn’t elaborate on his feelings, but said he started quarantine a few days ago, fearing the condition of the safe room.

Within hours of the announcement, Democrat Debbie Dingle and Democrat Anthony Brown introduced a law fined $ 1,000 for members of the House of Representatives who refused to wear masks on the Capitol grounds during COVID. Did. 19 pandemic.

“It’s not brave to refuse to wear a mask. It’s a selfish, stupid and shameful act to endanger your life,” Dingel said.

A senior Democratic Party aide said Tuesday night that he would also consider rules, including a fine for breaching Speaker of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s mask requirements. The first breach will be fined $ 500 and the second breach will be fined $ 2,500. The fine will be deducted from the member’s salary. The aide was not allowed to discuss this issue publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Separately, the House of Representatives Committee will immediately consider implementing a similar fine system for violations across the Capitol and the US Capitol home near the Capitol.

Jayapal also called on House guards to remove lawmakers who refused to wear masks from the House floor.

“This is not a joke. Our lives and lives are at stake. Those who refuse to wear masks are completely responsible for endangering our lives because of selfish stupidity. I have to bear. “

Schneider said he stayed in a crowded and safe place for about four hours. He said he had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine a few days before its potential exposure. However, health experts point out that the vaccine did not have enough time to provide protection and could be infected with the virus shortly after vaccination.

“I don’t know who got the virus, or not necessarily in that room,” he said at a virtual press conference from his isolated home in the suburbs of Chicago. “But I know that my exposure in that room was greater than at any other time throughout this pandemic.”


Associated Press writers Sophia Tureen of Chicago and Lisa Mascaro of Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

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