Pennsylvania Democrats say they were not informed of Republican's coronavirus diagnosis

Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania are calling for answers about why they were not informed for nearly a week that a GOP colleague had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

“Whoever knew this in the Republican leadership and did not inform the broader membership and staff, they need to resign immediately. This is outrageous and immoral," state Rep. Kevin Boyle (D), who chairs a committee on which State Rep. Andrew Lewis (R) sits, said Wednesday, according to Spotlight PA, adding that numerous Republican lawmakers have not been wearing masks in the capitol.

“I am livid,” said Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D), another member of the same committee, adding, “They were derelict in their duty when they did not alert us to this immediately. ... They put our health at risk, they put our families at risk, and Speaker [Mike] Turzai [R] should resign, period.”


Rep. Brian Sims (D) also noted that as a kidney donor he is immunocompromised.

Lewis said in a statement that he immediately went into isolation after receiving a positive coronavirus test on May 20 and that he was last in the state capitol May 14, according to Spotlight PA.

“I can confirm every member or staff member who met the criteria for exposure was immediately contacted and required to self-isolate for 14 days from their date of possible exposure," Lewis said.


Rep. Russ Diamond (R), who sits behind Lewis, has reportedly said he was asked to self-quarantine. Diamond has been a vocal opponent of wearing masks and has been in quarantine since May 21, the news outlet noted, but said he never developed symptoms or got tested, and said he plans to return to the Capitol Thursday.

Mike Straub, a spokesman for the state House GOP, declined to tell Spotlight PA what other members may have been directed to self-isolate, citing medical privacy laws, but said the House floor is professionally cleaned and sanitized nightly.

“Absolutely anyone, from anywhere in the Capitol, who may have been exposed within those guidelines was notified,” Straub said. “We followed data and science, implementing the guidelines from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health, in line with exactly what Gov. [Tom] Wolf [D] requires from any business that wishes to operate.”

The Hill has reached out to Turzai's office.