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 CruzTrump banking proposal on fossil fuels sparks backlash from libertarians Former CIA head, Cruz trade jabs over killing of Iranian nuclear scientist: 'You are unworthy to represent the good people of Texas' O'Brien on 2024 talk: 'There's all kinds of speculation out there' 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 GrahamIs Trump headed to another campaign or to a courtroom? Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE (R-S.C.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) as well as Reps. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship MORE (R-N.C.), Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsFive things to know about Georgia's Senate runoffs Sunday shows - Health officials warn pandemic is 'going to get worse' Collins urges voters to turn out in Georgia runoffs MORE (R-Ga.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarDemocrat O'Halleran wins reelection in Arizona House race Lil Jon slams Paul Gosar: 'Don't quote my songs' Hundreds of Trump supporters protest election results in Pennsylvania MORE (R-Ariz.), Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz: Trump 'should pardon everyone' including himself to quash liberal 'bloodlust' Florida passes 850k coronavirus cases Florida GOP Rep. Mike Waltz tests positive for COVID-19 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.