Third House Democrat tests positive for COVID-19 after Capitol riots
Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) said Tuesday he tested positive for COVID-19 after a pro-Trump mob forced a lockdown at the Capitol last week, making him the third Democrat to contract the virus since the deadly riots.
Schneider said he was in close contact with several Republican lawmakers who refused to wear masks during the siege.
“After narrowly escaping a violent mob incited by the president of the United States to attack the Capitol and its occupants, I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other members of Congress,” Schneider said in a statement.
“Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask … even when politely asked by their colleagues. Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, announced Tuesday she tested positive after being locked down with Republicans who “cruelly refused to wear a mask” while in hiding from rioters.
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), a 75-year-old cancer survivor, has also tested positive.
The House will begin impeachment proceedings against Trump on Wednesday for inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol.
Schneider said he would cast his vote by proxy due to his diagnosis.
The House Office of the Attending Physician sent a letter to members saying they should closely monitor their health because at least one person who was in lockdown with them had been infected. There are also concerns that the hundreds of rioters rampaging through the building may have been spreading the virus.
Dozens of lawmakers and aides have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, although it was mostly Republicans who had fallen ill before this week.
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