These are the five members of Congress taking steps to isolate themselves amid coronavirus threat
Two congressmen announced they would self-quarantine after coming in contact with a person diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. These include Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) who recently rode on Air Force One and Rep. Doug Collins who shook President Trump’s hand on Friday.
As lawmakers on Capitol Hill grapple with how to contain the spread of coronavirus across the United States, five members of Congress are now taking steps to either self-quarantine or otherwise isolate themselves as a precaution after coming into contact with an infected individual.
Four Republican lawmakers are self-quarantining after interacting with an individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference who has tested positive for coronavirus. Separately, one Democratic congresswoman announced on Monday that she and her staff are now working remotely after finding out that she recently came into contact with someone who tested positive.
Here are those lawmakers:
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas announced on Sunday that he had been notified that he was in contact with an individual at CPAC who tested positive and is showing symptoms. In a statement, Cruz said that “the interaction consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake.”
Cruz said that he is “not experiencing any symptoms, and I feel fine and healthy,” and that “medical authorities have advised me that the odds of transmission from the other individual to me were extremely low.”
But despite that, the senator said that “out of an abundance of caution,” he has “decided to remain at my home in Texas this week until a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction.”
A message posted to Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz’s Twitter account on Monday stated that the congressman found out on Monday that he came into contact with an individual at CPAC who had tested positive.
“While the congressman is not experiencing symptoms, he received testing today and expects the results soon,” the message stated, going on to say, “Under doctor’s usual precautionary recommendations, he’ll remain self-quarantined until the 14-day period expires this week.”
Gaetz rode on Air Force Once with President Trump on Monday and spent the weekend at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property.
Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia announced on Monday that CPAC contacted him to tell him that a photo of him and the conference attendee who tested positive had been found, indicating they interacted.
“While I feel completely healthy and I am not experiencing any symptoms, I have decided to self-quarantine at my home for the remainder of the 14-day period out of an abundance of caution,” Collins said in a statement.
Like Gaetz, Collins also had recent interactions with the President. Collins shook hands with Trump when the President visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta last week.
Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona put out a statement on Sunday saying that he was similarly notified that during CPAC he was in contact with an individual who had tested positive.
The congressman said that he shook hands with the individual “several times” and was with the person “for an extended period of time.”
Gosar said that he is “not currently experiencing any symptoms,” but “in order to prevent any potential transmission, I will remain at my home in Arizona until the conclusion of the 14 day period following my interaction with this individual.”
Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley of California put out a statement on Monday saying that she has been informed that “an individual I met with last week in DC tested positive for COVID-19.”
“I have decided to close our DC office for the week,” the congresswoman said, adding, “My staff and I are working remotely.”
“Out of an abundance of absolute caution, my DC staff and I are self-monitoring and maintaining social distancing practices. Neither I, nor my staff, are experiencing any symptoms at this time,” Brownley said.