Alabama Republican tests positive for COVID-19

Alabama Republican tests positive for COVID-19
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — The Quad confab House passes sweeping defense policy bill After messy Afghanistan withdrawal, questions remain MORE (R-Ala.) said Thursday that he tested positive for COVID-19, making him the fourth House member this week alone to reveal they contracted the virus.

Rogers said that he's currently experiencing "mild symptoms" and has gone into quarantine.

"This morning I tested positive for COVID-19. I immediately consulted with the Office of the Attending Physician and am currently self-isolating. I am experiencing mild symptoms but otherwise I am in good spirits and looking forward to getting back to work soon," Rogers said.

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Three other House members have also said in the last few days that they tested positive for COVID-19: Reps. Joe WilsonAddison (Joe) Graves WilsonOvernight Defense & National Security — Congress begins Afghanistan grilling Connolly rips Wilson over 'you lie' during Blinken hearing Taliban seizes Kandahar as advance picks up speed MORE (R-S.C.), Barry LoudermilkBarry LoudermilkOn The Money — Yellen sounds alarm on national default GOP lawmakers urge Cardona against executive student loan wipeout House GOP stages mask mandate protest MORE (R-Ga.) and Ken CalvertKenneth (Ken) Stanton CalvertMORE (R-Calif.).

Calvert said Tuesday that he had tested positive late last month but had recovered and returned to Washington.

Wilson, meanwhile, voted on the House floor on Wednesday before announcing hours later that he had tested positive. He said that he did not have any symptoms. 

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Wilson also spoke on the House floor earlier in the day, but was wearing a mask under rules set by Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNorth Dakota Republican latest House breakthrough COVID-19 case Pelosi sets Thursday vote on bipartisan infrastructure bill Cheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump MORE (D-Calif.) that members wear facial coverings at all times.

Neither Rogers nor Loudermilk voted on the House floor on Wednesday. 

For months, House members were required to wear masks on the floor but permitted to remove them while speaking before the cameras. Health experts say that speaking provides an opportunity for viral droplets to spread, but lawmakers had relaxed the mask requirement for speaking time out of concerns that people with hearing issues wouldn't be able to read lips while watching proceedings on television.

But Pelosi announced on Tuesday that members would be denied speaking time on the House floor going forward if they didn't have masks on. 

Pelosi began requiring masks on the House floor in July after dozens of House Republicans refused to wear them. That group included Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertRepublicans keep distance from 'Justice for J6' rally Security forces under pressure to prevent repeat of Jan. 6 Washington ramps up security ahead of Sept. 18 rally MORE (R-Texas), who tested positive for COVID-19 at the time after attending committee hearings and voting on the floor without a mask.

A total of 39 members of the House and Senate have tested positive for COVID-19 since March, while several others have tested positive for antibodies or had presumed cases. 

Nearly half the positive tests in Congress have been since November alone as cases, deaths and hospitalizations have spiked nationally.