Fifth member of Congress contracts COVID in post-riot surge

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A fourth Democratic member of Congress has examined constructive for COVID-19 following final week’s lockdown on the Capitol — a surge of instances that had been predicted because of the Jan. 6 occupation.Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York introduced Thursday morning that he was isolating after testing constructive for the virus, after related bulletins prior to now week by Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois, all Democrats.Republican Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee additionally examined constructive for the virus on Jan. 10, however the announcement from his workplace indicated that he believes he was uncovered by contact with one other House member he shares living quarters with, not on the Capitol.The House doctor, Dr. Brian Monahan, warned on Sunday of the hazard to “many” members of Congress and staffers who “may have been exposed” to COVID-19 once they took shelter — in some instances huddled collectively in windowless rooms for a number of hours — through the Jan. 6 riot and occupation of the Capitol.Rep. Adriano Espaillat. (Erik McGregor/LightRocket through Getty Images)The COVID-19 pandemic had taken a disproportionate toll on Republicans till now. According to GovTrack, 41 Republican House members and 7 Republican senators had examined constructive for the coronavirus since final March — in contrast with 12 Democrats within the House and none within the Senate. Wearing masks as a precaution has turn into a signifier of get together id, and lots of Republicans have handled it as an emblem of disloyalty to President Trump.“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them,” Jayapal mentioned in an announcement launched late Monday night time. “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.”Story continuesThe rely of constructive check outcomes doesn’t embody legislators who’ve examined constructive for antibodies (indicating prior publicity) or Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, a Republican from Louisiana who died of the virus in late December earlier than being formally sworn into his seat.Those numbers additionally don’t embody President Trump or the quite a few White House staffers who’ve examined constructive. They additionally don’t have in mind the husband of Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., who was on the Capitol through the revolt. Pressley herself has not contracted the virus.President Trump takes off his face masks as he arrives on the White House upon his return from Walter Reed medical heart, the place he underwent therapy for COVID-19 in October. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP through Getty Images)Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., was filmed through the lockdown making an attempt at hand masks to a variety of Republican colleagues, together with Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Michael Cloud of Texas and Doug LaMalfa of California. They all refused.“By the end of passing them out, I only had one left in my hand offering them to everyone,” Rochester informed CNN. “I was disappointed in those who didn’t accept the masks but was encouraged by those who did. At least we were a little bit safer.”In a Washington Post op-ed printed Wednesday, Watson Coleman — a 75-year-old most cancers survivor who mentioned she felt like she had a gentle chilly — blamed her Republican colleagues for her contracting it.“I am angry that after I spent months carefully isolating myself, a single chaotic day likely got me sick,” Watson Coleman wrote. “I am angry that several of our nation’s leaders were unwilling to deal with the small annoyance of a mask for a few hours. I am angry that the attack on the Capitol and my subsequent illness have the same cause: my Republican colleagues’ inability to accept facts.”Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg through Getty Images)“It is absolutely ridiculous and insane to blame us,” Greene informed Fox News. “[We] did not have COVID or any symptoms.”As specialists have mentioned for nearly a 12 months, asymptomatic people can unfold the virus with out realizing they’ve it, which is why masking and social distancing is advisable even for wholesome people. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mentioned final week that the storming was a possible superspreader occasion.“I do think you have to anticipate that this is another surge event. You had largely unmasked individuals in a nondistanced fashion who were all through the Capitol,” Redfield mentioned in an interview with McClatchy._____Read extra from Yahoo News: