North Dakota Republican latest House breakthrough COVID-19 case
Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, becoming the latest breakthrough case in the U.S. House.
Armstrong wrote in a statement posted to Twitter that he received a positive test after feeling mild symptoms. He said he has been fully vaccinated since January, and will quarantine for 10 days.
“After experiencing mild symptoms I took a COVID test, and the result was positive. I have been fully vaccinated since January, and I am taking all precautions and recovering at home in North Dakota. I have been advised by my doctor to quarantine for ten days,” Armstrong wrote in a statement.
The congressman said he has contacted friends in Congress and will be casting his votes this week by proxy, as Capitol Hill gears up for an intense week including a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to be in D.C. next week,” Armstrong wrote. “However, the votes we are taking are simply too important to miss, so I have reached out to friends in Congress and I will be casting my votes by proxy.”
— Congressman Kelly Armstrong (@RepArmstrongND) September 26, 2021
Armstrong’s announcement of a positive test came one day after Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 in a breakthrough case.
A number of congressional lawmakers have posted positive for the virus in breakthrough cases, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Angus King (I-Maine) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), and Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Troy Nehls (R-Texas), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Darren Soto (D-Fla.).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines COVID-19 breakthrough cases as fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for the virus. The agency said that such cases are expected, but noted that the risk of infection, hospitalization and death for inoculated individuals is “much lower” than for those who are not vaccinated.
The Capitol physician reinstated a mask mandate in the lower chamber in July as the cases started spiking because of the highly infectious delta variant.
It is enforceable by fines that begin at $500 in the House chamber.
Armstrong’s positive test comes one day before lawmakers are set to kick off a crucial week on Capitol Hill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) set a Thursday vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which the Senate passed last month.
Democrats are also working to pass a multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package, which includes a number of key Democratic priorities, and a spending bill to prevent a government shutdown on Oct. 1, which also has language to avoid a debt default.