Three US lawmakers have tested positive for the coronavirus after sheltering for hours with colleagues during last week’s deadly assault on the Capitol.
House Democrats Bonnie Watson Coleman, Pramila Jayapal, and Brad Schneider have announced their diagnoses.
Some Republicans were not wearing masks during the ordeal, footage suggests.
Last Wednesday they hunkered down in secure rooms, seeking refuge from an invasion of Congress in which five people died.
Medical experts fear more lawmakers may have contracted the disease, potentially amounting to a super-spreader event at a time when coronavirus infections and deaths continue to rise in the US.
Over the weekend, top congressional doctor Brian Monahan told lawmakers and congressional staff who sheltered together from the riots to get tested.
“The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others,” Mr. Monahan said. “During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”
Mr. Monahan did not say how many lawmakers were in the room but called on them to observe social-distancing measures and wear masks.
New Jersey Democratic Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman was the first lawmaker to confirm she had tested positive on Monday. In a tweet, the 75-year-old cancer survivor said she was resting at home with “mild, cold-like symptoms”
But while there are Republicans that have promoted the use of masks, there have been more than just a few GOP lawmakers that are not following maks mandates within the chambers of their legislative bodies.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) is directly linking her recent COVID-19 positivity to what happened at the Capitol and what she says is Republicans openly mocking the use of masks.
“I just received a positive COVID-19 test result after being locked down in a secured room at the Capitol where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one,” Jayapal tweeted.