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 CruzLoeffler calls for hearing in wake of Netflix's 'Cuties' Health care in the crosshairs with new Trump Supreme Court list 'Parks and Rec' cast members hosting special reunion to raise money for Wisconsin Democrats 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 GrahamThe Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Senate Democrats' campaign arm announces seven-figure investment to boost Graham challenger Graham: Comey to testify about FBI's Russia probe, Mueller declined invitation MORE (R-S.C.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) as well as Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump won't attend UN General Assembly in person, Meadows says McConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Overnight Health Care: Ex-Pence aide backs Biden over virus response | Trump's sharp words put CDC director on hot seat | Trump coronavirus adviser threatens to sue Stanford researchers MORE (R-N.C.), Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsWin by QAnon believer creates new headaches for House GOP Andrew Clyde wins Georgia GOP runoff to replace Doug Collins New poll shows tight presidential race in Georgia MORE (R-Ga.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarPelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new leadership LWCF modernization: Restoring the promise Trump tweets his people have all left Drudge MORE (R-Ariz.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzLara Trump campaigns with far-right activist candidate Laura Loomer in Florida House to vote on removing cannabis from list of controlled substances The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from GOP convention night 1 MORE (R-Fla.), Julia BrownleyJulia Andrews BrownleyHouse Democrats eyeing much broader Phase 3 stimulus Assistant House Speaker self-quarantines out of 'abundance of caution' Actor Orlando Bloom to self-quarantine MORE (D-Calif.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.).

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