Jan. 6 chairman tests positive for COVID-19
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, announced on Tuesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
The congressman, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, said he received a positive diagnosis on Monday and is experiencing mild symptoms.
In a statement posted on Twitter, he said he will isolate “for the next several days.” The Mississippi Democrat spoke to reporters at the Capitol on Monday while wearing a mask.
The announcement comes two days before the panel is set to hold what could be its final public hearing of the summer, focused on former President Trump’s inaction during the Capitol riot.
Thursday’s presentation, however, will proceed as planned, according to the committee’s spokesperson.
“While Chairman Thompson is disappointed with his COVID diagnosis, he has instructed the Select Committee to proceed with Thursday evening’s hearing. Committee members and staff wish the Chairman a speedy recovery,” spokesperson Tim Mulvey said in a statement.
Thompson, who also serves as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, played a leading role in the seven previous Jan. 6 public hearings, delivering opening and closing statements and questioning witnesses that appeared live before the panel.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the Jan. 6 committee, told reporters on Tuesday that the panel is working to determine logistics for Thursday’s hearing, including who will take the lead, and will hopefully have a plan by the end of the day.
Thursday’s hearing is expected to focus on the 187 minutes between when Trump departed the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse to when he posted a video statement on Twitter encouraging his supporters to leave the Capitol grounds.
During that block of time, committee members have said the president did little to ease the violence at the Capitol.
Thompson is the latest congressional lawmaker to test positive for COVID-19. On Monday, Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) announced that she tested positive for the coronavirus, and earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) came down with the virus.
The U.S. has seen a slight uptick in daily new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Levels, however, still remain lower than the previous spike in January.
Rebecca Beitsch contributed.
This story was updated at 12:50 p.m.