The casualties of last week’s attack on the Capitol are not only those who were killed or injured in the siege, as there are a growing number of lawmakers who have been infected with COVID-19 after sheltering with Republican colleagues who refused to wear masks, even while in close quarters with elderly lawmakers.
Dr. Brian Monahan, Capitol Hill’s attending physician, warned lawmakers that they may have been exposed to coronavirus as they took cover from the MAGA mob that overran the halls of congress. Less than a week after the riot, that scenario seems to be coming to fruition. Three Democratic lawmakers this week have tested positive for COVID in the wake of the attack: Bonnie Watson Coleman, the 75-year-old New Jersey representative; Pramila Jayapal of Washington; and Brad Schneider of Illinois.
Following the events of Wednesday, including sheltering with several colleagues who refused to wear masks, I decided to take a Covid test.
I have tested positive.https://t.co/wivlbwrmV0
— Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (@RepBonnie) January 11, 2021
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.https://t.co/wVmgroKsdf
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) January 12, 2021
Unfortunately, I received a positive COVID-19 test this morning following being tested yesterday on the advice of the House Attending Physician.
— Rep. Brad Schneider (@RepSchneider) January 12, 2021
“Only hours after [Donald Trump] incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy,” Jayapal said in a statement Tuesday, “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.”
Jayapal predicted just such an outbreak after the January 6 riot, telling the Cut that she went into quarantine as a precaution after Republicans in a room with more than a hundred people refused to don face-coverings—with some, she said Tuesday, even mocking colleagues who did. “We can no longer tolerate Members coming to the floor or gathering in the halls of Congress without doing the bare minimum to protect those around them,” Schneider tweeted Tuesday. “Those that flout public health guidance should be sanctioned and immediately removed from the House floor by the Sergeant at Arms for their reckless endangerment of their colleagues.” Schneider said he has not experienced any symptoms, and Watson Coleman, a cancer survivor, said she has experienced mild symptoms.