Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) announced on Monday night that she, like 75-year-old Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), had tested positive for COVID-19 after lawmakers were forced to take shelter with several mask-less Republicans during the pro-Trump insurrection at the Capitol last 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 a statement.
The Democrat demanded “serious fines” against lawmakers who refuse to wear masks, along with their removal from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms.
“This is not a joke,” she said. “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.”
Tuesday morning, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) announced his diagnosis as well.
🚨🚨🚨 THIRD HOUSE MEMBER TESTS POSITIVE AFTER LOCKDOWN
"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." pic.twitter.com/qyiluvOmog
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 12, 2021
Jayapal and Schneider are the second and third COVID-19 diagnosis to arise among lawmakers after they had to shelter together when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building last week. Earlier on Monday, Coleman (D-NJ) stated that she had tested positive for the virus and noted that “a number of members within the space ignored instructions to wear masks” while they were in hiding.
On Sunday, Attending Physician of Congress Dr. Brian Monahan warned House members and staff of potential exposure to COVID-19 as a result of being holed up together during the siege.
At least four Republicans refused to wear masks at that time, as shown in a video published by Punchbowl News: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Scott Perry (R-PA), Michael Cloud (R-TX), and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK).