Two US lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol riot

Two US lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol riot

The U.S. Capitol Building is stormed by a pro-Trump mob on January 6, 2021
A mob of supporters of US President Donald Trump storm the US Capitol Building in Washington, US, Jan 6, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis)

WASHINGTON: Two members of the US Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus, with one on Tuesday (Jan 12) accusing Republicans of refusing to wear masks and mocking those who did during a riot at the legislature last week.

In a tweet, Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said she had taken a test after being trapped in a secure room with fellow lawmakers, and that she had tested positive.

"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," Jayapal, who is now self-isolating, she said.

READ: New videos reveal violence of assault on US Congress

READ: Guns and tear gas in US Capitol as Trump supporters attempt to overturn his loss

"The duration in the room was multiple hours and several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one."

Hours earlier, fellow Democratic congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman said she too had contracted the virus and that she believed she had been exposed to it during last week's violence.

"She believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the US Capitol building as a result of insurrectionist riots," her office said in a statement.

Top Congressional doctor Brian Monahan warned lawmakers over the weekend that they could have been exposed to the virus after taking shelter in an isolation room last Wednesday.

READ: Twitter suspends 70,000 accounts linked to pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy

READ: 'It's insurrection,' says Biden, as Trump supporters storm US Capitol

Just hours after pro-Trump protestors stormed the US Capitol to demand Congress overturn the Nov 3 election victory of President-elect Joe Biden, Congressman Jake LaTurner tested positive for the virus.

The US is the world's hardest-hit country and some 375,000 people have died from the coronavirus - with about 3,000 more dying every day.

In her statement following her positive diagnosis, Congresswoman Jayapal said colleagues that refused to wear masks were guilty of "selfish idiocy" and should not be allowed to take their seats in the chamber.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: AFP/ic