Number of Texas state Democrats to test positive for COVID-19 rises to 5
Two more Texas state Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling to Washington, D.C., last week, bringing the total number of cases to five as of Sunday evening.
The Texas House Democratic Caucus announced the additional positive COVID-19 tests in a statement. The positive cases follow three others announced by the caucus the previous day.
“In light of some positive COVID-19 tests over the weekend, the House Democratic Caucus has decided to go beyond CDC guidance and provide daily rapid tests for all Members and staff in Washington D.C. for this week,” the caucus said in its statement.
“As part of this precautionary testing, today two additional Members who were fully vaccinated tested positive,” the caucus continued, saying that all of the members who tested positive either do not have symptoms or have only mild symptoms and feel good.
The Sunday statement did not include the names of the caucus members who tested positive, but state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D) confirmed that he was one of the two members who tested positive on Sunday.
“This morning, I received a positive COVID-19 rapid antigen test result. I am fully vaccinated, and had tested negative on Friday and Saturday. I am quarantining until I test negative, and I am grateful to be only experiencing extremely mild symptoms,” Martinez Fischer said in a statement shared on Twitter.
“Just as these new variants sweeping the country are more aggressive than ever, the wave of anti-voter legislation in this country is worse than we’ve seen in generations. That’s why, I will continue the fight for voting rights with every single fiber of my being,” he added.
The five Texas Democrats who tested positive used rapid tests, which provide results in several minutes but are not considered as accurate as PCR tests, which take longer, the Austin American-Statesman noted. The members will take a PCR test and take measures to isolate for 10 days, followed by a subsequent test afterward, the newspaper reported.
Dozens of Democratic legislators fled Texas last week to prevent a vote on a measure to impose more restrictive voting laws in the state. The politicians met with Vice President Harris, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
Some Republicans and others criticized the group after a photo showed them not wearing masks on a private charter flight as the group headed to D.C., though recent federal masking guidelines have primarily focused on wearing masks on public transportation as opposed to private planes.
In a statement late Saturday, Harris’s senior adviser and chief spokesperson Symone Sanders said, “Based on the timeline of these positive tests, it was determined the Vice President and her staff present at the meeting were not at risk of exposure because they were not in close contact with those who tested positive and therefore do not need to be tested or quarantined. The Vice President and her staff are fully vaccinated.”
An aide to Manchin previously told The Hill that he “was not exposed to any member who tested positive.”
Schumer’s office had also previously said it “was informed that none of the fully vaccinated members who tested positive were in contact with our office.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 68 percent of American adults aged 18 and up have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 59 percent are fully vaccinated.