Rep. Jayapal Tests Positive For COVID-19 After Sheltering With Unmasked GOP Colleagues

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday after locking down with Republican colleagues who refused to wear masks during the Capitol riot last week.

“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 a statement

Jayapal’s office said she was locked down for several hours with Republicans who “not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one.” Jayapal called for members of Congress who refuse to wear a mask in the Capitol to face “serious fines” and be removed from the House 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 said.

At least nine Republican lawmakers refused to wear mask while in lockdown, HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel reports.

Jayapal is the second lawmaker to test positive since the Capitol riot. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) also tested positive Monday, saying in a statement that she believes she was exposed while locking down in the Capitol with maskless colleagues.

A third lawmaker, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), said Tuesday that he’d tested positive as well. 

The attending physician to members of Congress advised lawmakers and Capitol staff to get tested for the coronavirus after the riots on Jan. 6, since many were forced to hide in close proximity to one another.

Capitol Hill has largely avoided superspreader events, but the White House has had several, including an event in late September where President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and others were likely infected.

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