On Monday night, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, (D-Wash.), disclosed that she tested positive for the coronavirus after being locked down during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol

The politician explained that she had been sequestered in a secure room with Republican colleagues who flat-out refused to wear face masks amid the pandemic that has devastated the country, she said via a press release. 

“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them,” the statement read. “Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, 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.” 

“While I am isolating per the Capitol physician’s instructions, I will continue to work to the best of my ability because the deep urgency of our many crises is paramount,” the congresswoman continued. “I share the outrage and anger of my constituents and those across this country who have watched Donald Trump fail to combat this raging pandemic and refuse to take care of Americans who are suffering, dying, and devastated. Now, we have also watched him openly fuel and incite these insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol and our democracy on Jan. 6 — so I will not rest until I do everything in my power to remove this president from office.”

The Democrat explained in an interview with The Cut on Jan. 8, she began to quarantine after the insurrection at the Capitol because she feared she had been exposed to the virus.

Jayapal stated she was convinced that the room, which housed “over 100 people and many Republicans not wearing masks, was a superspreader event.”

She claims she doesn’t feel sick, nor is she displaying any symptoms. She will now work from home as she battles the virus that has killed over 380,000 Americans, according to the Worldometers website.

Jayapal isn’t the only representative who has tested positive for COVID-19. On Jan.11, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, (D-N.J.), also released a statement regarding her positive diagnosis. She also believes that she was exposed during the measures taken to protect government officials where some people didn’t wear masks, as Blavity previously reported.

The 75-year-old politician stated she is exhibiting mild cold-like symptoms and had received the initial vaccine from Pfizer.

“I received a positive test result for COVID-19 and am home resting at this time. While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents,” Watson Coleman said.

She is also the first Black woman ever to be elected to Congress in New Jersey, according to her biography.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, (D-Del.), was captured trying to give colleagues the protective covering during the lockdown. Representatives declined the masks while smiling, chatting, and not practicing social distancing, a video from Punchbowl News revealed.


Jayapal said she believes there should be severe repercussions against those Republicans who refuse to protect themselves and others.

“I am also calling for serious fines to be immediately levied on every single member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol,” she said. “Additionally, any member who refuses to wear a mask should be immediately removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms. This is not a joke. Our lives and our livelihoods are at risk, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy.”