Multiple Democratic House lawmakers who tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering in a secure room during last week’s Capitol riots have blamed their GOP colleagues for refusing to wear masks.
But more than a week after that event, it remains unclear whether the Republican lawmakers who eschewed wearing a mask during the lockdown are responsible.
Although it is not certain where and when lawmakers got infected, the Capitol’s attending physician told House lawmakers of possible virus exposure while some of its members were cloistered together.
FILE: Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. (AP)
A video later released by Punchbowl News showed about six House Republicans on video huddled together and maskless during the lockdown as Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Democratic lawmakers who tested positive were quick to direct their anger at their Republican colleagues.
“Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff,” Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., said Tuesday.
Hours earlier, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., lashed out at Republicans for refusing to take the pandemic seriously and supposedly endangering everyone around them. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a Democrat from New Jersey, said Monday that she had tested positive for COVID-19.
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All three lawmakers are isolating. Schneider said he was not feeling symptoms, while Watson Coleman said she was experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms. Jayapal did not elaborate on how she was feeling, but noted that she began to quarantine several days ago out of concern about conditions in the secured room.
The Republican lawmakers criticized for refusing to wear a mask during the lockdown are: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Scott Petty of Pennsylvania, Michael Cloud of Texas, and Doug LaMalfa of California.
Greene, who said she tested negative for COVID-19 on Jan. 4, has pushed back at the notion that she could have been responsible for spreading the virus.
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The newly-elected lawmaker said if anyone is to blame for the outbreak at the Capitol, it is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for letting Rep. Gween Moore, D-N.J. come to the Capitol and vote on the House floor for her speakership after testing positive for coronavirus. She said Pelosi put fellow members at risk to win a narrow vote for speaker.
On Tuesday, the House sergeant at arms office issued a statement saying all members and others going into the chamber must be screened for prohibited items, including firearms, and anyone failing to wear a mask on the House floor will be removed. The House was also voting to impose fines on lawmakers without face coverings.
Fox News Marisa Schultz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.