WASHINGTON – Indian American Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington, said she contracted coronavirus after being huddled together during last week’s Capitol riots with several Republican colleagues who “cruelly refused to wear a mask.”
“I just received a positive COVID-19 test result after being locked down in a secured room at the Capitol where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one,” Jayapal said in a post on her official Twitter account.
Jayapal called for actions against members who refuse to wear a mask in the Capitol.
“Any member who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy. I’m calling for every single member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol to be fined and removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms,” she said in a post on Twitter.
AP adds: A third Democratic member of the House who was forced to go into lockdown during last week’s violent siege at the U.S. Capitol has tested positive for COVID-19.
Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., said on Twitter that he tested positive Jan. 12 morning. He said he is not feeling symptoms but expressed dismay at the spate of positive test results and blamed Republican members of Congress who declined to wear a mask when it was offered to them during the lockdown.
“Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff,” Schneider said.
Schneider’s comments came a few hours after similar remarks from Jayapal.
“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them,” Jayapal said. “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 mask in a crowded room.”
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey said Jan. 11 that she had tested positive for COVID-19.
They were among dozens of lawmakers whisked to a secure location when pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.
All three lawmakers are isolating.
Over the weekend, the Capitol’s attending physician notified all lawmakers of possible virus exposure and urged them to be tested.