Trump Supporters Capitol

Representative Fears Severe COVID Outbreak In Congress, Says Republicans Refused To Wear Masks During Siege

Nathan Francis - Author

Jan. 8 2021, Updated 1:05 a.m. ET

A member of Congress told a reporter that there could be a “severe” outbreak of coronavirus among members in the coming weeks, saying that close to 50 Republicans refused to wear masks while they were sheltering in place during a siege of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Kyle Griffin of MSNBC reported that the unnamed legislator said many representatives are at risk of becoming infected.

“There’s a severe covid outbreak coming among members,” he tweeted, quoting the House lawmaker. “At the secure location yesterday at least 50 GOP members refused to wear masks. They were asked repeatedly. Older dem members pleaded. And they wouldn’t do it.”

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Lawmakers were brought to a secure location during Wednesday’s riot when crowds of Trump supporters surrounded the building while both the House and Senate were inside tallying the Electoral College votes showing Joe Biden as the winner of the election. At a rally prior to the unrest, Trump spoke to a crowd and urged them to march to the Capitol. Once there, many forced their way inside and damaged property, with one woman being shot and killed by a law enforcement official.

As The Independent reported, Republican congressman Jake LaTurner revealed on Thursday that he had tested positive for COVID-19. LaTurner was one of a number of House Republicans to vote to stop the certification of Biden’s win. The freshman legislator from Kansas was pulled out of the joint session late on Wednesday after receiving the positive test, the report noted.

“After being told about his diagnosis, Mr. LaTurner did not return to the floor. He revealed that he is taking the advice of the House physician and is not able to return to Congress until he has been cleared by a doctor,” a statement from his office read.

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The efforts of the GOP lawmakers were ultimately unsuccessful, as Biden’s win was certified. Many of those objecting had echoed Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud — allegations that the president maintained even after rioters had broken into the Capitol and forced House and Senate members to go into hiding. They would later return in the early morning hours on Thursday to complete the certification process.

A number of top elected officials have already become infected with the coronavirus in the past few months, including a series of outbreaks among top GOP officials connected to large events held at the White House. After a reception for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, many top Republicans would go on to test positive, including the president, his wife Melania, and his oldest son, Donald Trump Jr.


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