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2nd Lawmaker Tests Positive, Blames Maskless 'Idiocy'

Rep. Pramila Jayapal had predicted 'a superspreader event'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2021 6:33 AM CST
2nd Lawmaker Tests Positive, Blames 'Selfish Idiocy'
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., speaks during a House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust on Capitol Hill on July 29, 2020.   (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP, File)

(Newser) – A second lawmaker has tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering with colleagues during the Capitol riot. Washington state Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat, says she tested positive late Monday after learning of possible exposure, per NBC News. Like New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, who tested positive earlier Monday, Jayapal blamed colleagues who refused to wear masks, a group that included Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, Texas Rep. Michael Cloud, and Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, all Republicans, per the Cut. "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," Jayapal wrote in a statement.

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Jayapal, who received her first of two vaccinations on Jan. 4, predicted such an outcome. "I'm quarantining now because I am convinced that where we ended up, in the secured room—where there were over 100 people and many were Republicans not wearing masks—was a superspreader event," she told the Cut on Thursday. Her Tuesday statement said "several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one." She added "every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol" should be removed from the floor and face "serious fines" for "endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy." It's unclear if Jayapal is experiencing coronavirus symptoms. She said she would continue to work from home and "not rest until I do everything in my power to remove this President from office." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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