Fourth U.S. representative tests positive for COVID-19

6 days ago 17
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Jan. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Adrian Espaillat of New York said Thursday he has COVID-19, becoming the fourth U.S. lawmaker to test positive since the deadly U.S. Capitol riot.

"I am following guidance from my physician and quarantining at home after having tested positive for COVID-19," Espaillat, 66, tweeted Thursday morning.

Espaillat, a Democrat representing parts of upper Manhattan and the Bronx in New York's 13th congressional district, said he received a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine last week, adding that it takes time for the vaccine to be effective. He has continued to be tested regularly, wear his mask and follow public health guidelines.

He also said that he would work remotely for his district until he receives clearance from his doctor and encouraged all residents to follow public health guidelines for the community's safety.

Espaillat is the fourth Democratic member of Congress to test positive for COVID-19 since the deadly "insurrection" at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Two spouses of lawmakers have also tested COVID-19 positive since the riot.

Prior to his diagnosis, Espaillat was seen over the weekend joining Mayor Bill De Blasio at a press conference on the steps of City Hall to call for the resignation or impeachment of President Donald Trump, who became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached for a second time. The House voted Wednesday to impeach Trump on charges of inciting the "insurrection" at the U.S. Capitol.

Rep. Bonnie Watson, D-NJ, a 75-year-old cancer survivor, was the first to announce she had tested positive following the mob of Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol last week. The deadly riot delayed the counting of Electoral College votes to affirm President-Elect Joe Biden's win.

Watson said Monday she was experiencing "mild, cold-like symptoms," at home, but remained in good spirits.

Later Monday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., age 55, said she had tested positive after sheltering in a secured room at the U.S. Capitol during the siege, saying in statement that "too many Republicans" have failed to "take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them."

Jayapal told MSNBC Wednesday her husband also tested positive for COVID-19.

The office of Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., announced Wednesday that she has tested negative, but her husband Conan Harris, tested positive for COVID-19 and has been experiencing mild symptoms.

"As my colleagues and I sought shelter from the white supremacist mob that violently attacked our seat of government, we were greeted by a different threat -- one posed by my callous Republican colleagues who, in this crowded and confined space, repeatedly refused to wear masks when offered," she said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., age 59, announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.

"Unfortunately, I received a positive COVID-19 test this morning following being tested yesterday on the advice of the House Attending Physician," Schneider said in a series of tweets, similarly criticizing Republican lawmakers for refusing to wear masks.

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