Trump's Chief of Staff Is Now in Self-Quarantine

Rep. Matt Gaetz has also isolated himself
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2020 5:19 AM CDT
5 GOP Lawmakers Now in Self-Quarantine
Rep. Matt Gaetz, speaks during Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2020, at the National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Md., Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Republican lawmaker who tweeted a photo of himself wearing a gas mask on the House floor last week, is now in self-quarantine after possible exposure to the coronavirus. Gaetz didn't wear the mask late last month when he was at the Conservative Political Action Conference late last month, where he met an attendee who was later diagnosed with the virus. "Under doctor's usual precautionary recommendations, he'll remain self-quarantined until the 14-day period expires this week," the Florida lawmaker's office says. The office of Rep. Mark Meadows, President Trump's new chief of staff, says he is also under self-quarantine after meeting the person at CPAC, NBC reports. Meadows' office says he has already tested negative for the virus.

Sen. Ted Cruz and Reps. Paul Gosar and Doug Collins are also in self-quarantine after meeting the infected person at the Feb. 26-29 conference. When he wore the mask on the House floor ahead of a vote on a coronavirus appropriations bill, critics accused Gaetz of making fun of the crisis. He was ordered to remove the mask by the House sergeant-at-arms. His office now says he was wearing it to "demonstrate his concern," the Hill reports. Gaetz—who was at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate over the weekend and traveled on Air Force One on Monday—is not showing any symptoms, his office says. The name of the infected CPAC attendee is being withheld, but sources tell Politico that the man attended the conservative conference on a gold-level VIP ticket. (More coronavirus stories.)

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