WASHINGTON (AP) – A second lawmaker who was forced to seek refuge in the attack on the United States Capitol last week has tested positive for COVID-19.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, from Washington state, said she tested positive and criticized Republican members of Congress who refused to wear masks during the assault despite their offer.
“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and the virus seriously, and in doing so, they are putting everyone around them at risk,” Jayapal said. “Just hours after President Trump instigated a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum of COVID-19 precautions and simply wore a goddamn face mask in a room full of people during a pandemic ”.
Jayapal is the second congressman to test positive for the virus. New Jersey Democratic representative Bonnie Watson Coleman reported on Monday that she was also infected.
The two women parliamentarians were among dozens of representatives and senators who had to be brought to safety when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
Some members of Congress had to huddle for hours in a room, while others were there for a shorter period.
Both lawmakers said they had quarantined themselves.
Jayapal called for “immediate severe fines for every member who refuses to wear a mask on Capitol Hill” and for any lawmaker who refuses to wear a mask to be immediately forcibly removed. “It’s not a joke,” he said. “Our lives and livelihoods are in danger, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask must be fully responsible for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy.”
Over the weekend, the doctor in charge of the Capitol warned all lawmakers who may have been exposed to the virus and asked them to get tested.
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