Jayapal, Watson Coleman test positive for Covid after Capitol lockdown

Jayapal, Watson Coleman test positive for Covid after Capitol lockdown

Representative Pramila Jayapal (L) and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.Getty ImagesDemocratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., announced early Tuesday that she had tested positive for Covid-19, becoming the second lawmaker to contract the virus since being placed in lockdown last week during the siege on the Capitol. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J., said on Monday that she had received a positive test result. Jayapal is 55 and Watson Coleman is 75. Older people are more susceptible to severe illness from the coronavirus. Jayapal and Watson Coleman had each received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, which requires two doses, spaced weeks apart, to be fully effective. In a statement announcing her positive test result, Jayapal slammed Republicans who refused to wear masks while sheltering on Wednesday. “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,” Jayapal said in the statement.At least six House Republicans were filmed refusing to wear masks while in lockdown, according to a video posted online by Punchbowl News. On Sunday, Dr. Brian Monahan, Congress’ attending physician, warned that in that period “individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”Jayapal had said in an interview with The Cut published on Friday that she believed the event was likely to spread infections.”I’m quarantining now because I am convinced that where we ended up, in the secured room — where there were over 100 people and many were Republicans not wearing masks — was a superspreader event,” the Washington Democrat told the website in an interview her office said was conducted Thursday.Jayapal did not specify in her statement whether she is experiencing symptoms. She said she is isolating and “will continue to work to the best of my ability because the deep urgency of our many crises is paramount.”Watson Coleman said that she was resting at home. “While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents,” she said in a statement. Jayapal called for consequences for members of Congress who failed to take precautions against the virus.”I am also calling for serious fines to be immediately levied on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol,” Jayapal said. “Additionally, any Member who refuses to wear a mask should be immediately removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms. This is not a joke. Our lives and our livelihoods are at risk, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy,” she added.House GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The coronavirus infections come as the House of Representatives moves forward this week on parallel measures to remove President Donald Trump from office. The House is expected to pass a resolution on Tuesday calling for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. On Wednesday it is expected to consider an article of impeachment that was introduced on Monday. More than 375,000 in the U.S. have died of Covid-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Subscribe to CNBC Pro for the TV livestream, deep insights and analysis  on how to invest during the next presidential term.

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