Rep. Brad Schneider from Illinois has become the third Democratic lawmaker to test positive for COVID-19 since a mob incited by the president stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 seeking to overturn Joseph R. Biden’s win.
“Last Wednesday, 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. Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask, as demonstrated in video from Punchbowl News, even when politely asked by their colleagues. Unfortunately, I received a positive COVID-19 test this morning following being tested yesterday on the advice of the House Attending Physician,” Schneider tweeted on Tuesday.
He added: “Since driving home to Deerfield from Washington, I have remained isolated as much as possible from my wife in our house and have not experienced other close contacts since my exposure on Wednesday. Thankfully, I have not yet experienced symptoms and am in the care of capable physicians.
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“This week, the House is doing critical work to protect our national security, our democracy, and our Constitution, moving to remove the President from office after he incited this angry mob of domestic terrorists. I regret that I must take these votes by proxy.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) announced early on Tuesday that she had tested positive for coronavirus. She became the second Congresswoman with a positive diagnosis after Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) announced on Monday that she had tested positive for the deadly coronavirus. Rep. Coleman added that she believed she was exposed during the assault on the Capitol by Pro-Trump rioters.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal:
Jayapal said too many Republicans have refused to take the pandemic serious and have endangered everyone around them.
“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them. Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic — creating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack,” said Congresswoman Jayapal said in a statement.
“While I am isolating per the Capitol Physician’s instructions, I will continue to work to the best of my ability because the deep urgency of our many crises is paramount. I share the outrage and anger of my constituents and those across this country who have watched Donald Trump fail to combat this raging pandemic and refuse to take care of Americans who are suffering, dying, and devastated. Now, we have also watched him openly fuel and incite these insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol and our democracy on January 6—so I will not rest until I do everything in my power to remove this President from office.”
“I am also calling for serious fines to be immediately levied on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol,” Jayapal continued. “Additionally, any Member who refuses to wear a mask should be immediately removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms. This is not a joke. Our lives and our livelihoods are at risk, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy.”
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman:
“Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) received a positive rapid antigen test result for COVID-19. She believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the U.S. Capitol building as a result of insurrectionist riots,” her office said in a statement. “As reported by multiple news outlets, a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks.”
“I received a positive test result for COVID-19, and am home resting at this time. While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents,” she said.
Watson Coleman is isolating and awaiting the results of PCR testing; she previously received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID19 vaccine, which has been made available to members of Congress, the Supreme Court, and Executive Branch agencies for the purposes of continuity of government operations.