Democrat says she’s tested positive after Capitol lockdown with Republicans who ‘cruelly refused’ to wear masks

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Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) announced early Tuesday that she has tested positive for the coronavirus after being locked down with Republicans who “cruelly refused to wear a mask” during rioting by President Trump’s supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

“I just received a positive COVID-19 test result after being locked down in a secured room at the Capitol where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one,” Jayapal said on Twitter. 
The Democrat, who serves as chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, also said she believes she was infected because Republicans in Congress are not “taking the virus seriously.” 
“In doing so, they endanger everyone around them,” she said. “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.” 

News of Jayapal’s diagnosis came just hours after Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) also said she had tested positive for the virus, citing similar concerns about time spent hunkered down with Republicans who were not wearing masks. 
The House Office of the Attending Physician on Sunday sent an e-mail to members warning them to monitor their health after receiving confirmation that a person who was in lockdown with lawmakers during last Wednesday’s rioting had been infected with the virus. 
“The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others,” Brian Monahan, Congress’s attending physician, wrote in the e-mail. “During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.” 
Some Republican members reportedly refused to wear masks when Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) offered them during the lockdown. 
“While I was disappointed in my colleagues who refused to wear a mask, I was encouraged by those who did,” Blunt Rochester said in a tweet late last week.
Supporters of the president stormed the Capitol as a joint session of Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. 
The breach sent lawmakers, staff and members of the media into hiding for more than two hours before police eventually cleared the area and the certification proceedings resumed.
Dozens of lawmakers and aides have either tested positive, recovered or been forced into quarantine after coming into contact with someone who has been infected with the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.   
–Scott Wong contributed to this report, which was updated at 8 a.m. 
Tags Bonnie Watson Coleman Capitol breach Coronavirus COVID-19 positive Donald Trump Joe Biden Pramila Jayapal

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