Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has tested positive for COVID-19. The progressive representative from Seattle blames her Republican colleagues, claiming they refused to wear masks and take precautions while the members of Congress were in hiding during the Capitol riots.
“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them. Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, 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,” she said in a press release.
She is the third member of Congress to test positive following the riot, after Rep. Brad Schneider and Rep. Bonnie Coleman also announced that they have COVID-19.
Jayapal said she is isolating under doctor’s orders, but will still push for the impeachment and removal of Donald Trump for his role in the Capitol riots. In addition, Jayapal wants to strengthen coronavirus protocols within the Capitol building. She said she will push for fines and the removal for any representative who refuses to wear a mask.
“I am also calling for serious fines to be immediately levied on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol,” Jayapal said. “Additionally, any Member who refuses to wear a mask should be immediately removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms. This is not a joke. Our lives and our livelihoods are at risk, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy.”
Jayapal has been vocal about her experience of the riots. She shared an on-the-ground account of the confusion inside the building with The Cut and argued, in no uncertain terms, that the riots were allowed to happen by law enforcement and security agencies.
"The lack of security at the Capitol is not an accident. It is very clear to me that there were breaches of our law-enforcement agencies. The fact that there were no barriers, that they were essentially allowed in,” she said. “And again, the discrepancy of what would have happened if these had been peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters … Believe me, they would not have been anywhere near that building.”