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Congresswoman contracts COVID-19 after hiding in crowded room amid DC riots

Rep. Pramila Jayapal slammed her Republican peers for refusing to wear masks during the siege.

Capitol riot AFP via Getty Images

A Congresswoman has tested positive for Coronavirus after she sheltered in a room alongside her peers during the Capitol insurrection. Rep. Pramila Jayapal shared the news via a press release denouncing Republican lawmakers for failing to wear their masks.

“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them,” she said in a statement. “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.”

Jayapal was among a group of lawmakers who hid in a secured room to ensure their safety as rioters raided the U.S. Capitol. When addressing a Twitter user who noticed she was also without a mask, she explained, “We were instructed to take off our mask in order to put on a gas mask. Why did we need a gas mask in the House? Because Trump and his Republicans had incited insurrectionists to launch a deadly attack on the Capitol. That’s why.”

In an effort to limit the spread of the virus and prevent further health risks, the Congresswoman — who is currently in quarantine — requested that penalties be given to those who don’t wear masks in the U.S. Capitol.

“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 wrote in her statement. “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.”

Jayapal’s diagnosis makes her the third Congressmember to test positive following the Capitol Hill riots.

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