Democratic Rep. Carbajal tests positive for COVID-19

Greg Nash

Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) announced on Tuesday that he tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the latest member of Congress to contract the virus.

Carbajal said in a statement that he was tested for COVID-19 following exposure to someone with the virus.


The statement did not identify the individual, but Carbajal’s office said Wednesday morning that he had interacted “in passing a couple of times” last week with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who attended a recent White House event to formally announce President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee that has since been linked to multiple COVID-19 cases among members of the administration, GOP senators and other attendees.

Carbajal was subsequently prompted to get tested after learning that Lee was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Carbajal said that he initially took a COVID-19 test that came back negative but then began to develop “mild symptoms.” He took another test on Tuesday, which revealed he had the virus.

“I hope this serves as a reminder of how easily this virus can spread. I followed every precaution, including wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand-washing and unfortunately was still exposed. It is incumbent on every single one of us to take careful precautions in order to protect the health and safety of those around us,” Carbajal said.

Three GOP senators — Lee, Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) — announced late last week that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Their diagnoses came shortly after Trump and first lady Melania Trump contracted the virus. The president was hospitalized for three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and returned to the White House on Monday night.

Thirteen other House members have also tested positive for COVID-19 or had a presumed case: Reps. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), Dan Meuser (R-Pa.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.), Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), Ben McAdams (D-Utah) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.).

Aside from Lee, Johnson and Tillis, two other senators have also tested positive: Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) began requiring masks on the House floor and surrounding office buildings in July following the diagnosis of Gohmert, who had at times not worn a mask while on Capitol Hill.

Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have resisted calls from some lawmakers to institute a widespread, mandatory testing regime on Capitol Hill similar to the White House.

The latest guidance from the Capitol physician states that COVID-19 testing is available to lawmakers with symptoms or who have had exposure as well as staff who have been in contact with known cases in the Capitol.

—Updated Wednesday at 11:17 p.m.

Tags Bill Cassidy Dan Meuser Donald Trump Jahana Hayes Joe Cunningham Louie Gohmert Mario Diaz-Balart Melania Trump Mike Kelly Mike Lee Mitch McConnell Morgan Griffith Nancy Pelosi Neal Dunn Nydia Velazquez Rand Paul Rodney Davis Ron Johnson Salud Carbajal Thom Tillis Tom Rice

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