Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Rep. Pramila Jayapal tests positive for COVID-19, slams 'selfish' GOP lawmakers who refuse to wear masks

After testing positive for COVID-19 on Monday night, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) issued a scathing series of tweets, blasting Republican lawmakers who "cruelly refused to wear masks" while in a crowded room during last week's Capitol riot.

As the mob moved through the Capitol, Jayapal was ushered into a secured room with other lawmakers. Several maskless Republicans were offered face coverings, which they did not accept — in fact, Jayapal said, they "recklessly mocked colleagues and staff" who tried to hand them the masks.

"Only hours after Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, 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 super-spreader event ON TOP of a domestic terror attack," Jayapal tweeted. "Any member who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy. I'm calling for every single member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol to be fined and removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms."

On Sunday, the attending physician to Congress sent an email saying "many members of the House community" were in a specific room during the riot where they "may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection." On Monday morning, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) said she tested positive for COVID-19 and believes she was exposed to the virus while sheltering in place with GOP colleagues "who refused to wear masks."