Reps. Massie, Grijalva test positive for COVID-19
Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) announced on Thursday that they tested positive for COVID-19.
Massie, who is not vaccinated, wrote in a tweet that he was experiencing cold and allergy symptoms for one day “but seem[s] to be over it.” He said he will not be voting, attending in-person meetings or making public appearances until next week.
The Kentucky Republican said he suspects that his symptoms are mild because he tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in July 2020. He said he believes he contracted the virus in January of that year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the risk of reinfection six months after a positive test is low, but the agency has not presented evidence that natural immunity lasts for two years. That data, however, was for the alpha variant and wild-type virus, as experts are still scrutinizing the delta and omicron strains.
Massie made headlines in July when he and two other firebrand Republican lawmakers — Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Ralph Norman (S.C.) — filed a lawsuit against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after they were fined for not wearing masks on the House floor, which is required in the chamber. They argued that the fines were unconstitutional.
Grijalva said he tested positive for a COVID-19 breakthrough case on Wednesday and is experiencing mild symptoms, but “remain[s] in good spirits.” The Arizona Democrat urged his constituents to get vaccinated, receive a booster shot and wear N95 masks or equivalent face coverings to protect against the virus.
“We all have a role to play to protect our loved ones from COVID-19 and the risk of hospitalization, especially while Arizona is experiencing this surge,” he added in a tweet.
This is the second time Grijalva has tested positive for COVID-19. He previously tested positive in August 2020.
A number of congressional lawmakers have tested positive for the virus in recent weeks, as the country sees a spike in cases driven by the highly transmissible omicron variant.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) announced on Wednesday that he tested positive for a COVID-19 breakthrough case.
The Capitol physician informed lawmakers earlier this month that COVID-19 cases were on the rise in the building, revealing that the seven-day average positivity rate had risen from less than 1 percent to greater than 13 percent.
The CDC says that breakthrough cases are expected, though the agency notes that fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for the virus are less likely to develop serious illness compared to those who are not inoculated.
–Updated at 3:07 p.m.
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