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Lawmakers Catch COVID-19 After Sheltering in Room Where GOP Reps Refused Masks

HeadlineJan 12, 2021

At least two members of Congress have contracted COVID-19 after Wednesday’s insurrection. Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, a 75-year-old cancer survivor, believes she was exposed during protective isolation as Trump supporters rampaged through the Capitol. Video shows several Republican lawmakers in the cramped isolation space refusing to wear face masks.

Also testing positive was Congressmember Pramila Jayapal, who has been quarantining at home since the riots. Jayapal said that any lawmaker who refuses to wear a mask should be fined and removed by the House sergeant-at-arms. In a tweet, Jayapal wrote, “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.”

Six lawmakers — all of them Republicans — previously tested positive since the 117th Congress was sworn in on January 3. Most lawmakers have received a single dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine but have not yet received their second shot, which confers better protection against the disease.

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