NJ Congresswoman Among Several With COVID After Riot Lockdown
A day after one of New Jersey's congressional delegates announced she has COVID-19 days after a possible super spreader situation during the violent riot at the Capitol, at least two more representatives also have tested positive.
U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J. 12th District, announced her diagnosis on Monday, and said she would begin a monoclonal antibody treatment on her doctor's advice.
U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. 11th District, sent wishes for a fast recovery to her fellow Democrat on Monday, while adding on Twitter: "I was in the crowded secure location with you as they were walking around without masks after the attack on the Capitol. The selfishness of our colleagues has got to end now."
"Bonnie is the toughest of us. She’ll beat this, but it was unacceptable that she was ever put in that position," U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J. 3rd District, said on Twitter Monday.
On Tuesday, the 75-year-old cancer survivor, who has received a first dose of vaccine, sent her well wishes to U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Ore., and U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., who both also have tested positive.
Schneider shared video posted to YouTube of several Republican members of Congress who refused to accept and put on single-use surgical masks while locked down for several hours.
"Last Wednesday, after narrowly escaping a violent mob incited by the President of the United States to attack the Capitol and its occupants, I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress," Schneider said on Twitter, adding several lawmakers "adamantly refused to wear a mask, as demonstrated in video from Punchbowl News, even when politely asked by their colleagues."
"I once again find myself fighting alongside my friend @repjayapal. Get well soon Chairwoman. Praying for your health. I implore anyone who sheltered at the Capitol during the attack to get tested," Watson Coleman said on Tuesday morning in a tweet.
Jayapal said in her own announcement that several Republicans on Wednesday "not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one."
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. 9th District, denounced the behavior of those who had opted to stay mask-less despite the pandemic, while in close quarters protective isolation with the group during the insurrection.
"The republicans who refused to wear masks endangered our colleagues with glee. They’re despicable," Pascrell said on Twitter, while also sending his thoughts to Jayapal and Schneider.
U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, D-N.J. 1st District, also shared well wishes for his colleagues on Tuesday.
"I urge everyone to wear a mask & watch your distance. Those refusing to do so are shameful & disrespectful," Norcross said on Twitter.
Fellow Democratic congressmen Josh Gottheimer and Frank Pallone also sent their well wishes for Watson Coleman on Twitter.
Gottheimer urged continued pandemic protocols such as mask wearing and social distance.
As of Tuesday afternoon, no Republican congressional members had reported coronavirus test results since the deadly chaos at the Capitol forced the security lockdown last Wednesday.