Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) used his press release announcing his positive COVID-19 diagnosis as an opportunity to scold Republicans on Capitol Hill who have refused to wear masks.
“I have tested positive for COVID-19,” Grijalva tweeted Saturday. “As a result, I will be self-isolating in quarantine. I currently have no symptoms, feel fine, and hope to make a quick & speedy recovery. COVID-19 is not a joke & we should all take this seriously.”
Appended to his tweet was his full statement, which read:
The Attending Physician of the Capitol informed me that I tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, I will be self-isolating in quarantine at his recommendation. I currently have no symptoms, feel fine, and hope to make a quick and speedy recovery.
While I cannot blame anyone directly for this, this week has shown that there are some Members of Congress who fail to take this crisis seriously. Numerous Republican members routinely strut around the Capitol without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff, and their families. I’m pleased that Speaker Pelosi has mandated the use of masks at the Capitol to keep members and staff safe from those looking to score quick political points. Stopping the spread of a deadly virus should not be a partisan issue.
I urge all of us to recognize the severity of this virus and follow the CDC guidance to keep our family, friends, and loved ones safe. We can all play a part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
I have tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result, I will be self-isolating in quarantine. I currently have no symptoms, feel fine, and hope to make a quick & speedy recovery.
COVID-19 is not a joke & we should all take this seriously.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/nnBskdSyTF
— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) August 1, 2020
Grijalva’s diagnosis makes him at least the 12th member of Congress to test positive for the virus. Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) also recently contracted the disease, and has taken flak for his insistence against wearing a mask. Grijalva recently presided over a hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee in which he would have interacted with Gohmert, who tested positive on Wednesday.
District Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered Washington, D.C., residents on July 22 to wear masks both in public indoor spaces and even outdoors if “they are likely to come into contact with another person, such as being within six feet of another person for more than a fleeting time[.]” The order, however, stipulated that it “shall not apply to any employees of the federal government while they are on duty.”
Following Gohmert’s diagnosis, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ordered all representatives to wear masks while on the House floor or risk being thrown out. “One would have hoped that this would have been done as a matter of common decency, but we obviously needed a rule,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), according to The Hill. “I am very glad the Speaker did what she did. I’m sorry she had to do it.”
Raskin added, “It is a scandalous situation that it comes to members getting sick and potentially exposing everybody else. Everybody’s nervous.”
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