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Rep. Pramila Jayapal revealed she contracted COVID-19 and says 'Republicans who cruelly and selfishly refused to wear masks' during the Capitol siege are to blame

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 12 Jan 2021

<p><img src="https://static6.businessinsider.com/image/5ffd4e89d184b30018aae394-2000/GettyImages-1205434759.jpg" border="0" alt="UNITED STATES - MARCH 3: Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)" data-mce-source="Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images" data-mce-caption="Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol on Tuesday, March 3, 2020"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Rep. Pramila Jayapal does not have time for the "selfish idiocy" of those not wearing masks in the US Capitol.</p><p>She shared this frustration in an <a href="https://jayapal.house.gov/2021/01/11/covid-test/">announcement on Monday</a> that she tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering in place during the Capitol riots with GOP members of Congress who she said refused to wear masks.</p><p>The Democrat from Washington called for "serious fines to be immediately levied on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol."</p><p>Jayapal is the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/congresswoman-bonnie-watson-coleman-tests-positive-covid-maskless-colleagues-capitol-2021-1">second congresswoman to announce a positive COVID-19</a> test after sheltering in place during the Capitol Building insurrection.&nbsp;Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a 75-year-old cancer survivor from New Jersey, also shared on Monday that she tested positive after sheltering during the riots.</p><p>Last week Jayapal told New York Magazine's <a href="https://www.thecut.com/2021/01/pramila-jayapal-surviving-capitol-riots.html">The Cut</a> that she was "quarantining now because I am convinced that where we ended up, in the secured roomwhere there were over 100 people and many were Republicans not wearing maskswas a superspreader event."</p><p>On Sunday, the attending physician of the United States Congress, Dr. Brian Monahan, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/10/lawmakers-may-have-been-exposed-coronavirus-capitol-lockdown-attending-physician-says/">warned that members of Congress</a> could have been exposed to the coronavirus while sheltering in place during the more than four-hour siege.</p><p>"Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them," Jayapal said in her statement. "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 pandemiccreating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack."</p><p>In December, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi implemented new mask-wearing rules for the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/pelosi-strengthens-mask-requirement-on-house-floor-2020-12">House floor</a>. Members are required to wear a mask to be recognized to speak and must keep a mask on when at the mic.</p><p>However, mask-wearing, which health experts say is one of the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/best-masks-for-coronavirus-chart-2020-9">most effective ways of stemming transmission</a>&nbsp;of the novel coronavirus, has become a partisan issue with some in the GOP (including the president) declining to wear them.</p><p>COVID-19, however, does not obey the whims of politics; the deadly virus continues to spread.</p><p>As the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-sars-cov-2.html">Center for Disease Control and Prevention</a> explains: "The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying infectious virus."</p><p>Thus far more than 22 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and 376,000 have died.</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/rep-pramila-jayapal-tested-positive-covid-19-after-capitol-riots-2021-1#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/london-streets-left-deserted-during-covid-19-lockdown-2020-3">Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown</a></p>
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