Two members of the US Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus, with one on Tuesday accusing Republicans of refusing to wear masks and mocking those who did during a riot at the legislature last week.
In a tweet, Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said she had taken a test after being trapped in a secure room with fellow lawmakers, and that she had tested positive.
“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, who is now self-isolating, she said. “The duration in the room was multiple hours and several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one.”
My colleague Bonnie Watson Coleman contracted COVID-19 after sheltering in a room where many Republicans outright REFUSED to wear a mask. She escaped one dangerous situation just to enter another.— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) January 11, 2021
I wish her a speedy recovery as we continue to fight for accountability. https://t.co/C9qPg64aEv
Hours earlier, fellow Democratic congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman said she too had contracted the virus and that she believed she had been exposed to it during last week’s violence.”
She believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the US Capitol building as a result of insurrectionist riots,” her office said in a statement.
Top Congressional doctor Brian Monahan warned lawmakers over the weekend that they could have been exposed to the virus after taking shelter in an isolation room last Wednesday.
Just hours after pro-Trump protestors stormed the US Capitol to demand Congress overturn the November 3 election victory of President-elect Joe Biden, Congressman Jake LaTurner tested positive for the virus.
In pictures: Supporters of President Donald #Trump storm the #USCapitol building to stop Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden's— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) January 7, 2021
election victory. Four people are dead and at least 52 others have been arrested as a result.#WashingtonDChttps://t.co/Fc0wGprDsd pic.twitter.com/zrbBmiBfti
The US is the world’s hardest-hit country and some 375,000 people have died from the coronavirus -- with about 3,000 more dying every day.
In her statement following her positive diagnosis, Congresswoman Jayapal said colleagues that refused to wear masks were guilty of “selfish idiocy” and should not be allowed to take their seats in the chamber.