Ayanna Pressley Says Husband Has COVID-19 After Sheltering In Capitol Building With Republicans
Conan Harris added to the list of people who tested positive for coronavirus after sheltering with Republicans who refused to wear masks.
January 13, 2021 at 10:42 pm
Conan Harris was with Pressley to celebrate her swearing-in ceremony and tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday night. Pressley has tested negative but is still isolating.
Harris is one of at least six people who tested positive for COVID-19 after being forced to shelter in a secure room in the Capitol Building while President Donald Trump's supporters ransacked the building and killed a Capitol Police officer.
"As my colleagues and I sought shelter from the white supremacist mob that violently attacked our seat of government, we were greeted by a different threat -- one posed by my callous Republican colleagues who, in this crowded and confined space, repeatedly refused to wear masks when offered," Pressley said in her statement.
"Their arrogant disregard for the lives of others is infuriating, but not surprising, and we are seeing the consequences of it daily, as several of my colleagues -- and now my husband -- test positive for COVID-19."
Here's my full statement on my husband, Conan Harris, testing positive for COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/NYOTlskTrS— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) January 13, 2021
Three other Democrats, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Pramila Jayapal, and Brad Schneider, have tested positive for COVID-19 since they were forced to shelter with Republicans, who were caught on video ridiculing members of Congress who passed around masks in a secure room, as Blavity previously reported. Two Republicans have also tested positive for COVID-19.
"Like many families in Massachusetts and all across the country who have been impacted by this pandemic, I am deeply outraged by the criminal negligence of the current administration in responding to this crisis, along with their accomplices in Congress who continue to downplay the severity of a virus that has claimed the lives of over 380,000 Americans," she added.
"While Conan and I will remain in isolation in the coming days, I will continue to carry out my duties as the representative for the people of the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District and look forward to holding this lawless president accountable for endangering our lives and our democracy."
Brian Monahan, the attending physician to Congress, sent out an email on Sunday warning that members of Congress would most likely test positive for the virus after being forced to shelter in close proximity with Republicans who refused to wear masks and ridiculed those who did.
The Republicans seen in the video laughing at those handing out masks have expressed no remorse in statements to the press.
But in her statement, Pressley called for Congress to adopt stricter protocols for mask-wearing and general COVID-19 awareness.
"As Congress proceeds with impeachment and removal of a president who openly incited a violent and racist assault on our democratic process, we must also ensure adequate protocols are in place to protect the health and safety of Members of Congress, congressional staff, Capitol support and service workers, and journalists," she said.
"That includes a strict mask mandate for everyone in the building, serious fines and immediate removal from the House floor and House buildings for those who refused to comply, and access to free, universal COVID-19 testing."
Coleman, a 75-year-old lung cancer survivor, wrote about her experience in an op-ed for The Washington Post.
"I am angry that after I spent months carefully isolating myself, a single chaotic day likely got me sick. I am angry that several of our nation’s leaders were unwilling to deal with the small annoyance of a mask for a few hours. I am angry that the attack on the Capitol and my subsequent illness have the same cause: my Republican colleagues’ inability to accept facts," Coleman wrote.
"Refusing to wear a mask is not, in fact, an act of self-expression. It’s an act of public endangerment. The chaos you create in exercising your so-called freedom can cause permanent, deadly damage. When I say that many Republicans are responsible for what happened to me, to others and to the country last week, I mean their essential failure to accept facts led us here. Much like they should be able to accept the results of an election, elected leaders should be able to accept facts like the efficacy of masks."