3 members of Congress test positive for COVID after insurrection


  • Three Democratic members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 since the Capitol insurrection and riots on January 6. 
  • Lawmakers were forced to shelter together in a secure location for hours.
  • Several Republican representatives were caught on video refusing to wear masks. 
  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey was the first lawmaker to announce a positive test on Monday followed by Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Brad Schneider of Illinois on Tuesday. 
  • COVID-19 symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after infection, and experts recommend getting tested five to seven days after an exposure. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Three Democratic members of Congress have announced that they’ve tested positive for COVID-19 in the days following the January 6 insurrection of the US Capitol, when over 100 members of Congress had to shelter together in a secure location for hours. 

On top of lawmakers being stuck in the same room together, several Republican representatives refused to wear masks, which may have contributed to COVID-19 spread.

Video footage obtained by Punchbowl News on Friday showed Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, and Michael Cloud of Texas all gathered together talking without masks and rebuffing Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware when she tried to offer them masks.

Scientists say that crowded indoor gatherings in spaces with subpar ventilation, especially where individuals are spreading droplets by speaking and not wearing masks, is one of the environments where COVID-19 thrives the most and spreads with the most ease. 

It takes two to 14 days on average after a COVID-19 infection for an infected positive to show symptoms, according to the CDC, and experts recommend getting tested five to seven days after exposure. And while it’s possible the some of the members were infected elsewhere, the members who have tested positive are laying the blame at the hands of their maskless Republican colleagues. 

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Here are the members of Congress who have tested positive:

  • Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois said he tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning, six days after the insurrection.  
    • “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 tweeted.
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington announced that she tested positive in an interview with New York Magazine’s Rebecca Traister published Tuesday. 
    • “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 damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic — creating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack.”
    • CBS News’ footage of the House chamber during the insurrection shows Jayapal without a face mask and holding an escape hood in her hand. The video was filmed before lawmakers were moved to a secure location where Republicans were seen not wearing masks while talking to one another. 
  • Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey was the first member of Congress to announce a positive COVID-19 test. Watson Coleman is 75 years old and a cancer survivor. 
    • “I 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 tweeted. 

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