Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington, has tested positive for covid-19 after being forced to shelter in a secure location at the U.S. Capitol during last week’s coup attempt by loyalists of President Donald Trump. Jayapal is the second member of Congress to announce she has covid-19 after every member of the House, Democrat and Republican alike, retreated to a fortified room together as Trump supporters violently stormed the building, leaving five people dead.
The news from Jayapal comes after Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, also a Democrat, announced on Monday that she tested positive for covid-19, likely becoming infected while they were forced to hide from the violent mob of insurrectionists. Several Republicans refused to wear a mask at their secure location, which endangered everyone in the room according to Jayapal and videos posted online.
“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them,” Rep. Jayapal said in a statement posted to her congressional website.
“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,” said Congresswoman Jayapal.
Members of Congress received a notice from the head physician at the U.S. House on Jan. 10 warning them that they may have been exposed to covid-19 while taking shelter on Jan. 6. The coronavirus has an average incubation period of 4-5 days, according to the CDC, but some people may not test positive for as long as two weeks after they’ve been infected.
Video posted to Twitter shows Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Democrat from Delaware, offering masks to multiple fellow members of Congress while they were in their secure location. The Republicans, including Rep. Markwayne Mullin from Oklahoma, Rep. Andy Biggs from Arizona, Rep. Scott Perry from California, Rep. Michael Cloud from Texas, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia, all appear to decline the free masks.
Rep. Jayapal would like to see any member of Congress hit with fines if they refuse to wear a mask around their colleagues, a perfectly reasonable and, some would say, modest solution to the problem.
“I am also calling for serious fines to be immediately levied on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol,” Jayapal said in a statement.
“Additionally, any Member who refuses to wear a mask should be immediately removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms. This is not a joke. 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.”
Precisely 147 Republican members of the House and four Republican senators still voted against certification of the electoral count that made Joe Biden the winner, even after the coup attempt—every single one a traitor to the United States.
The U.S. has reported at least 22.6 million cases and over 376,000 deaths since the pandemic began roughly a year ago. The country saw over 193,000 cases and 1,739 deaths on Monday alone, based on a tally by the Covid Tracking Project, with hospitals throughout the nation still struggling with capacity in their ICUs.
U.S. law enforcement agencies are preparing for even more violence in the coming days, as neo-fascist loyalists to President Trump continue to plan “protests” around the country. Capitol Police gave congressional Democrats a briefing about three new plans by Trump supporters to stoke violence on Monday, according to HuffPost, including a plot to assassinate politicians.
Not only do Democratic politicians have to worry about violent neo-fascists storming the Capitol, they also have to be concerned with their own coworkers spreading a potentially lethal virus during a pandemic. Republicanism is little more than a death cult at this point.