Assistant House Speaker self-quarantines out of 'abundance of caution'

Assistant House Speaker self-quarantines out of 'abundance of caution'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), the assistant Speaker and fourth-ranking member of House Democratic leadership, announced Monday that he is self-quarantining after interacting with a person who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

Luján's office said in a statement that the individual was asymptomatic at the time of the "brief" interaction but later developed symptoms and was diagnosed with the virus.

The statement added that Luján is not showing symptoms and has been advised by health professionals that the probability of infection is low.


"We did this out of an abundance of caution for public health," a Luján spokeswoman said.

Staff in Luján's offices in Washington and New Mexico also began previously scheduled telework on Monday, along with many other congressional offices.

Luján is the first member of leadership in either the House or Senate to self-quarantine after potential exposure to someone later diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Luján is also running for the Senate.

Several other members of Congress have self-quarantined in recent days, including multiple GOP lawmakers who had contact with an individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) who was later diagnosed with the virus.


Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCrenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington on high alert as QAnon theory marks March 4 MORE (R-Texas) was one of the GOP lawmakers who self-quarantined after attending CPAC. Cruz announced late last week that he is extending his self-quarantine after meeting earlier this month with Santiago Abascal, the leader of Spain's far-right Vox Party, who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

Other lawmakers who have entered self-quarantine include Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamRon Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Here's who Biden is now considering for budget chief House Democratic leaders back Shalanda Young for OMB after Tanden withdrawal MORE (R-S.C.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) as well as Reps. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsHow scientists saved Trump's FDA from politics Liberals howl after Democrats cave on witnesses Kinzinger calls for people with info on Trump to come forward MORE (R-N.C.), Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGeorgia Gov. Kemp says he'd 'absolutely' back Trump as 2024 nominee The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Finger-pointing on Capitol riot; GOP balks at Biden relief plan Perdue rules out 2022 Senate bid against Warnock MORE (R-Ga.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Rep. Gosar denounces 'white racism' after controversial appearance Texas attorney general hits links with Trump before CPAC appearance MORE (R-Ariz.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzBipartisan bill would ban lawmakers from buying, selling stocks Some Republicans say proxy voting gives advantage to Democrats Wray says no evidence of 'antifa' involvement in Jan. 6 attack MORE (R-Fla.), Julia BrownleyJulia Andrews BrownleyVoters elected a record number of Black women to Congress this year — none were Republican House Democrats eyeing much broader Phase 3 stimulus Assistant House Speaker self-quarantines out of 'abundance of caution' MORE (D-Calif.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.).

So far, no members of Congress have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.