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 CruzOvernight Defense: Trump ends sanctions waivers for Iran nuclear projects | Top Dems says State working on new Saudi arms sale | 34-year-old Army reservist ID'd as third military COVID-19 death Trump administration ends waivers in Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran Romney defends Joe Scarborough, staffer's widower: 'Enough already' 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 Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Frustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  GOP senators urge Trump not to restrict guest worker visas MORE (R-S.C.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) as well as Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump to return to Florida for rescheduled SpaceX launch Pence names new press secretary House leaders take vote-counting operations online MORE (R-N.C.), Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGOP women's group rolls out endorsements ahead of contested races Bossie, Lewandowski warned Trump he was in trouble in 2020: report The Hill's Campaign Report: GOP beset by convention drama MORE (R-Ga.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarConservative lawmakers press Trump to suspend guest worker programs for a year Impeachment figure among those chosen for Facebook's new oversight board Cruz rebukes San Antonio City Council for denouncing 'Chinese virus' as hate speech MORE (R-Ariz.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzTrump to order review of law protecting social media firms after Twitter spat: report On The Money: US tops 100,000 coronavirus deaths with no end in sight | How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response | Tenants fear mass evictions Hillicon Valley: House FISA bill in jeopardy | Democrats drop controversial surveillance measure | GOP working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal liability protections 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.