Following last week’s attempted fascist coup at the Capitol, members of Congress are testing positive for the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. As of this report’s initial publication around 10:15 a.m. ET on January 12, two representatives — Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) — have announced they have tested positive since January 6. Shortly after this report’s initial publication, Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL) also announced positive test results in an email to reporters.
In a lengthy thread on Twitter, Jayapal — a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus at the beginning of her third House term — squarely blamed her Republican colleagues for refusing to wear masks as congresspeople were locked down during last Wednesday’s melee in the halls of Congress.
“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 wrote on Twitter in tweets posted around 1 a.m. ET.
She continued, “Only hours after Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, 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 super-spreader event ON TOP of a domestic terrorist attack.”
As CNN reported, video footage published by Punchbowl News showed six House Republicans were caught on tape during the security lockdown refusing to wear masks when they were offered by House Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware. Those GOP members of Congress were Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Michael Cloud of Texas, and Doug LaMalfa of California.
“Any Member who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy,” Jayapal wrote in her thread tweeted early Tuesday. “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.”