WASHINGTON – Several lawmakers have self-quarantined , or vowed to stay away from the U.S. Capitol in some capacity, after coming into contact with individuals who are testing positive for coronavirus, or testing positive for the disease.
Most lawmakers have said that they are not experiencing any symptoms, thus far. However, three have now said that they tested positive.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some people don’t have any symptoms at all. The most common symptoms resemble the flu and include fever, tiredness and dry cough. Some people also develop aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
Symptoms may appear anywhere between two to 14 days after exposure, with the average patient seeing onset at around five days, according to the CDC.
Lawmakers who have tested positive:
Sen. Rand Paul
After more than a week of downplaying his potential exposure to the coronavirus after three people at a fundraiser he attended tested positive, Paul’s office said it was that event that prompted him to take the test that revealed he had contracted the illness. He announced March 22 that he was positive, but asymptomatic.
Sergio Gor, Paul’s deputy chief of staff, said the Kentucky Republican is in a higher-risk category after having part of his lung removed last year after it was damaged in a 2017 assault by his neighbor.
Paul’s office said in a statement that he “expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time.”
Paul’s diagnosis also raised questions about his behavior after he continued to attend events and use shared facilities as he awaited the test results.
Congressman Ben McAdams
McAdams said Wednesday, March 18, he started developing mild symptoms on Saturday after returning from Washington, D.C., and immediately began isolating himself after consultation with his doctor.
“On Tuesday, my doctor instructed me to get tested for COVID-19 and following his referral, I went to the local testing clinic for the test,” his he said in a statement reads. “Today I learned that I tested positive.”
McAdams said that he is self-quarantining and working from home “until I know it it is safe to end my self-quarantine. I’m doing my part as all Americans are doing to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the coronavirus outbreak.”
In an update Sunday, March 22, that he has been hospitalized since Friday because of “severe shortness of breath.”
He said Tuesday, March 24 that he remains “in the hospital on the advice of doctors. They are monitoring my occasional need for supplemental oxygen and have advised me that I still need to be here.”
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart
Diaz-Balart announced Wednesday, March 18, that he tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first known member of Congress to contract the rapidly spreading virus.
He said in a statement that he has been self-quarantining since March 13 in Washington instead of South Florida, because his wife has pre-existing conditions, and thus is more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus.
Diaz-Balart said thatthe following day, he started to show symptoms that included a fever and headache.
“I want everyone to know that I am feeling much better,” he said in a statement. “However, it is important that everyone take this extremely seriously and follow CDC guidelines in order to avoid getting sick and mitigate the spread of this virus. We must continue to work together to emerge stronger as a country during these trying times.”
Lawmakers who are self-quarantining:
Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher
The Texas Democrat said Thursday, March 26, that she is self-quarantining after experiencing symptoms and a fever.
“Congresswoman Fletcher sought professional medical treatment out of an abundance of caution. At the determination of her physician, she was tested for COVID-19 today. She will continue to work from home until she receives her test results,” a statement from her office reads.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., said Wednesday, March 25, that she is self-quarantining at home with family, “After experiencing flu-like symptoms.”
A statement from spokeswoman Lina Francis continued, “Congresswoman Pressley sought professional medical treatment out of an abundance of caution. She has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting test results.”
Pressley tweeted Thursday: “Sending our continued gratitude to all of the healthcare workers on the frontlines of this fight in Massachusetts.”
Congresswoman Katie Porter
Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., said Wednesday, March 25 that she stayed home after experiencing “cold-like symptoms followed by fatigue” last week, and that she now has a fever.
“Over the weekend, I had a fever over 100.4 degrees. As instructed, I continued to isolate in my bedroom and phoned my provider. I carefully followed all instructions to visit my doctor and received a test for COVID-19. I am waiting for results,” she said in a statement.
She continued, “I will remain in self-quarantine until I have the test results back and until directed by my doctor that it is safe for me to leave my home. I am participating by telephone in Congressional business and listening to the concerns of our Orange County community.”
Congressman Seth Moulton
Rep. Seth Mouton, D-Mass., said Wednesday, March 25, he and his wife will self-quarantine after experiencing “symptoms of the COVID-19 virus,” but he said they don’t qualify for testing.
Moulton said a House doctor advised a test wasn’t needed because he and his wife, Liz, had only minor symptoms and the results wouldn’t change their treatment. He said he will stay at home “out of an abundance of caution” and could miss key votes in Washington as a result.
Moulton, a 41-year-old former Marine , said his symptoms began last Thursday with a sore throat, body aches, unusual fatigue and “tightness in my chest, to a degree I’ve never felt before.” .
“I have been steadily improving and even went for a run yesterday, carefully keeping my distance from others, but I don’t want to risk the chance that I pass this, or whatever other respiratory illness I have if it is not the coronavirus, on to a colleague or fellow traveler. It’s our responsibility – all of ours – to stop the spread of this virus and help flatten the curve.”
Moulton said, “People with symptoms should be tested, and the fact that tests are not available for Liz and me and far too many other Americans, a month after I wrote to the Vice President demanding more widespread testing, is a major failure of the Administration that I will continue fighting to fix.”
Congressman Josh Gottheimer
The Democratic representative from New Jersey announced on March 24 that he will self-quarantine after attending a press conference on March 15 with the CEO of Holy Name Medical Center, Mike Maron, who has tested positive for coronavirus.
“The Congressman was advised to get tested and self-quarantine pending the results. The Congressman has had no symptoms and continues to work around-the-clock for the Fifth District from his home,” a statement said.
Sen. Mike Lee
Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT., said March 22 that after learning Paul tested positive, he was advised to self-quarantine.
Attending Physician of the U.S. Congress Dr. Harding told Lee, according to his statement, “because I have no symptoms or other risk factors, a COVID-19 test was not warranted. However, given the timing, proximity, and duration of my exposure to Sen. Paul, he directed me to self-quarantine for 14 days.”
Lee added, “That means no traveling or voting. But I will continue to make sure Utah’s voice is heard as we shape the federal response to the Coronavirus through phone, text, email and whatever other means are available.”
Sen. Mitt Romney
Senator Mitt Romney, R-UT., said Tuesday, March 24, he tested negative for COVID-19. He began self-quarantining after contact with Paul last week.
Romney said despite the negative test, he will remain self-quarantined at his home in Utah.
“Nevertheless, guidance from my physician, consistent with the CDC guidelines, requires me to remain in quarantine as the test does not rule out the onset of symptoms during the 14-day period,” he said in a statement.
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson
Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., told the Miami Herald she plans to self-quarantine in Miami on the advice of her doctor after attending a meeting with Diaz-Balart last Wednesday.
She said she is currently not experiencing any symptoms.
Congressman Andy Kim
The Democratic representative from New Jersey said on March 19 that he received “word that a Member of Congress, who I was in direct contact with, tested positive for COVID-19. The health of our community must be our top priority, so I’ve decided to self-quarantine, and I want to strongly encourage anyone in a similar situation to take the same action.”
Congresswoman Sharice Davids
Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kans., said March 19 she will self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution after “contact with a fellow member of Congress who recently tested positive for COVID-19.”
“I’m thankfully feeling well and have not experienced any symptoms,” her statement continued. “But as I’ve said before, we all have a role to play in reducing the spread of this virus, and that means self-quarantining when appropriate.”
Congressman David Price
Rep. David Price, D-N.C., said March 19 that after learning one of his “colleagues with whom I work closely has tested positive for COVID-19,” he would be “self-quarantining and working from home through March 25th” as a precautionary measure.”
“Fortunately, neither I, nor staff members in contact with the member, have experienced any symptoms,” his statement continued.
Congressman Tom Cole
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said in a statement on March 19 he would self-quarantine following news that Diaz-Balart tested positive for COVID-19, saying he was “around him for an extended period last week.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, I am following the doctor’s instructions to self-quarantine until March 27,” he continued, reiterating he has “no symptoms and feel fine.”
Congressman Joe Cunningham
The Democratic representative from South Carolina announced on March 19 that he would be self-quarantining after contact with a colleague who tested positive. He stated he is not experiencing any symptoms.
“I will be teleworking from home as Congress continues its response to this public health crisis and my office will continue its urgent work of serving the people of the Lowcountry,” his statement continued.
Congressman Anthony Brindisi
Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., said on March 19 that he would self-quarantine and telework from his home due to prior contact with McAdams.
“I am not exhibiting any symptoms and remain in good health,” his statement continued. “I urge everyone to follow guidance from the CDC and other health experts so we can fight this global pandemic.”
Congresswoman Kendra Horn
The Democratic representative from Oklahoma said on March 19 she “would self quarantine for a two-week period following contact with” McAdams, who tested positive for coronavirus.
Her statement continued that she “shows no symptoms of illness and is self quarantining out of precaution at the recommendation of the House of Representatives Attending Physician.”
Congressman Matt Cartwright
Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., said March 18 he “received confirmation that someone I interacted with over the weekend has tested positive for #COVID19.”
“I’m not showing any symptoms, but out of caution, I am self-quarantining. Know that I’ll continue to work hard to fight this pandemic,” he said.
Congresswoman Kathleen Rice
Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., said in a statement on March 18 that she learned she was in contact with a colleague who tested positive.
While Rice said she is “currently not experiencing any symptoms and feel healthy and well,” she will be self-quarantining until Friday, March 27.
Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. said March 18 that she was in contact with a colleague last Friday who “has tested positive for COVID-19.”
In the statement, Murphy said that she “thankfully experiencing no symptoms and remain in good health.”
Congresswoman Ann Wagner
Rep. Ann Wagner, R-MO, said in a statement March 18 that after participating “in a small group meeting with a colleague who has since tested positive for COVID-19,” she was going into self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution.
“While I feel fine and am not exhibiting any symptoms, I will follow the advice of the Attending Physician until cleared. In the meantime I will continue to work remotely through teleconference as Congress works to provide a strong and effective response for everyone impacted by this virus,” she said.
Congressman Steve Scalise
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., on Wednesday, March 18, announced he will be self-quarantining after meeting last week with his colleague Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who announced Wednesday that he tested positive.
Scalise, the House minority whip, is the highest ranking member of Congress so far to self-quarantine.
“Fortunately, I am not experiencing any symptoms, and will continue working remotely on Congress’ Coronavirus response, and will remain in close contact with the Trump administration’s Coronavirus task force, my colleagues in Congress, as well as local officials and health professionals in Louisiana to ensure that swift action to address this crisis continues,” his statement said.
Congressman Drew Ferguson
Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., said Wednesday, March 18, he will self-quarantine after “the Attending Physician of the United States Congress informed me that I was in contact with a member of Congress on March 13th that has since tested positive for COVID-19.”
“After heeding the advice of the President, Governor Kemp and at the direction of the House physician, I will self-quarantine until March 27th. I am asymptomatic and will continue to work from my home in West Point, Ga,” his statement continued.
Sen. Cory Gardner
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., released a statement on Tuesday, March 17, saying he has decided to self-quarantine after meeting with a “Coloradan who visited my Washington office for a constituent meeting” who has tested positive for coronavirus.
Gardner said he is not showing any symptoms, but is self-quarantining out of an “abundance of caution.”
He also said “the health and safety of Coloradans and Americans across the nation is my top priority, and I will continue working to make sure Congress provides the resources needed to help combat the spread of COVID-19.”
Congressman Jason Crow
Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., released a statement shortly after Gardner’s announcement of a self-quarantine on March 17, with Crow saying he will do the same after he also met with a constituent who tested positive for COVID-19.
His full statement noted that he currently has no symptoms, but “we have to treat any possible exposure with the utmost caution.”
“This is a pandemic and it’s incumbent upon every American to do their part,” his statement continued. “While at home, I look forward to working full steam ahead to provide the federal resources our community needs to address this crisis.”
Congresswoman Gwen Moore
Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., said Monday, March 16, that she was self-quarantining after contact with someone who tested positive.
“I didn’t physically contact this individual and I consulted with the Office of the Attending Physician, who informed me that my risk for contracting COVID-19 is low,” her statement said. “While I have not shown any symptoms, I will follow guidance from public health officials and practice social distancing and self-quarantine to protect others from potential exposure.”
Congressman Ben Ray Luján
Rep. Ben Ray Luján, the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, said Monday, March 16, that he plans to self-quarantine after a brief interaction with someone who tested positive, but was asymptomatic.
The New Mexico Democrat said he is “exhibiting no symptoms” but “out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of the public, the congressman has chosen to self-quarantine.”
Congressman David Schweikert
Republican congressman David Schweikert of Arizona said on March 15 that after learning “a member of our DC team” tested positive, he would be working from home “until otherwise told by doctors.”
Congressman John Yarmuth
The Kentucky Democrat tweeted March 15 that he will self-quarantine after he attended the “Speed Ball” fundraiser where two attendees tested positive for COVID-19.
Yarmuth tweeted Sunday the individual he came into contact with “displayed no obvious symptoms at the time of our contact. Upon learning this, and after consult with my doctor, I made the decision to stay at home and will self-quarantine for the remainder of this week’s District Work Period.”
On Monday, March 16, he updated his status, saying that he has tested negative for the coronavirus.
“My COVID-19 test results came back negative,” Yarmuth tweeted. “I plan to continue working from home and will avoid going out in order to do my part as we all work to practice safe and precautionary distancing to help defeat this pandemic.”
Congressman Adam Schiff
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., tweeted Sunday, March 15, that he is taking precautionary measures after Daniel Goldman, who worked with Schiff as the former House Intelligence Committee counsel, tested positive for coronavirus.
“Medical professionals believe that my former staff member likely contracted the virus after leaving the office, but we will still be taking additional precautions over the next few days,” Schiff said in a statement.
Goldman was the Democrats’ lead lawyer during the impeachment trial of Trump. He began tweeting about his symptoms, and the challenges of getting a test, a few days ago.
“My difficulty in getting a test despite the exact symptoms and a neg flu test underscores how shockingly unprepared this administration is to deal with this pandemic,” Goldman tweeted. “In fact, I was told that NYC hospitals STILL would not test my wife — with similar symptoms — unless admitted.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Thursday, March 12, that he would self-quarantine after a trip to Trump’s Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, where Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was present.
Fabio Wajngarten, Bolsonaro’s communications secretary, has tested positive for the coronavirus and that result has been “confirmed by a retest,” Bolsonaro’s office said in a statement Thursday.
Graham’s office put out a statement, saying, “Senator Graham has decided to self-quarantine awaiting the results of a coronavirus test,” reiterating it was out of an “abundance of caution.”
“This is a precautionary measure. He will continue to work from home,” the statement concluded. It did not state whether Graham was symptomatic.
Graham tweeted Sunday, March 15, that he tested negative for coronavirus.
“I was just informed by Dr. Moynihan, the head of the House Physicians Office, that my coronavirus test was NEGATIVE. I’m very grateful and like everyone else will follow the best practices to stay negative,” he said.
Sen. Rick Scott
The Florida Republican announced Thursday, March 12, that he would be self-quarantining after potentially coming into contact with a member of the Brazilian president’s delegation in Miami who later tested positive for coronavirus.
Scott said he will self-quarantine “in an abundance of caution” after he had contact with Wajngarten. In a statement, Scott said the Brazilian Embassy alerted his office after Wajngarten tested positive – a result that came days after Scott met with Bolsaonaro in Miami.
“While I do not believe I interacted with the infected person, that individual was in the same room as me,” Scott’s said. The embassy said Wajngarten had no symptoms leading up to the meeting or on that day.
Scott added he is feeling healthy and is not having symptoms at this time.
Congressman Don Beyer
The Democrat, who represents the Virginia suburbs of D.C., said March 10 that he and his wife were contacted by the Virginia Department of Health about the illness of a friend who tested positive for coronavirus “after dining with us.”
“In the 10 days since that dinner neither of us has shown symptoms, and we understand that the probability that we have an infection is low,” his statement continued, but he reiterated that “at the request of public health officials, I will self-quarantine to ensure that I do not pass on any potential illness to others.”
Congressman Mark Meadows
The North Carolina Republican’s spokesman said the night of March 9 that the Meadows is also self-isolating after being advised that he may have come in contact with the individual at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, in late February who had tested positive for the virus.
The statement also included that Meadows was tested for coronavirus “out of an abundance of caution,” despite “experiencing zero symptoms.”
However, he’ll remain home “until the 14 day period expires this Wednesday.”
Trump announced Friday that Meadows would be his new chief of staff.
Congressman Matt Gaetz
The Florida Republican announced he was self-quarantining on March 9 after he was informed that he “came into contact with a CPAC attendee 11 days ago who tested positive for COVID-19.”
Gaetz “had expected COVID-19 to impact Congress, given the elevated frequency of travel and human contact, and demonstrated his concern last week on the House Floor,” the statement continued, referring to when he wore a gas mask on the House floor while the chamber voted on a coronavirus funding bill.
He stated Sunday, before the announcement of his self-quarantine, that that move “was quite serious.”
Congresswoman Julia Brownley
The California Democrat was the first lawmaker to cite contact with COVID19 not through CPAC, as she did not attend the conservative conference.
She said in a statement on March 9 that, “Yesterday, I was informed that an individual I met with last week in DC tested positive for COVID-19. I am told that individual is self-quarantining and has informed local public health officials.”
She continued that while doctors have said “the risk of exposure to me and my staff is considered very low,” that because of the “significant number” of individuals she comes into contact with everyday, “My staff and I are working remotely to continue to serve the residents of Ventura County, and my district offices in Thousand Oaks and Oxnard remain open.”
She continued that they are “self-monitoring and maintaining social distancing practices.”
Congressman Doug Collins
The Georgia Republican announced March 9 that he would self-quarantine for two weeks due to contact with the person who tested positive at CPAC.
“This afternoon, I was notified by CPAC that they discovered a photo of myself and the patient who has tested positive for #COVID19,” Collins tweeted. “While I am not experiencing any symptoms, I have decided to self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution.”
Congressman Paul Gosar
Gosar, an Arizona Republican, said on March 8 that he had interacted with the C-PAC “individual for an extended period of time, and we shook hands several times.” He said while he was not experiencing any symptoms, he along with three senior members of his office staff would be self-quarantining themselves.
Gosar said he would also close his Washington office “out of an abundance of caution.”
He later tweeted: “Been thinking about life and mortality today. I’d rather die gloriously in battle than from a virus. In a way it doesn’t matter. But it kinda does.”
Sen. Ted Cruz
The Texas Republican said in a statement on March 8 that he shook hands with the CPAC individual, and had a brief conversation.
“I am not experiencing any symptoms and I feel fine and healthy,” Cruz said, explaining that the interaction lasted “less than a minute” and medical professionals he’s consulted have told him the “odds of transmission from the other individual to me were extremely low.”
“Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, and because of how frequently I interact with my constituents as a part of my job and to give everyone peace of mind, I have decided to remain at my home in Texas this week, until a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction,” he continued.
However, Cruz later announced that he was extending his self-quarantine after “a second interaction” with someone who tested positive.
“On March 3, I met in my D.C. office with Santiago Abascal, the leader of the Vox Party in Spain,” Cruz said, adding, “My understanding is that Mr. Abascal tested positive for COVID-19 last night.”
He reiterated he does not have symptoms, but criticized the Trump’s administration rollout of tests, saying it has been “undoubtedly” too slow.
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Contributing: Christal Hayes, Grace Hauck, Joseph Garrison
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