U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Tucson has tested positive for COVID-19, just days after he entered self-quarantine after potentially being exposed by a fellow congressman, his office said Saturday.
Grijalva, 72, has no symptoms and is self-isolating, according to a statement from his office. He had already entered quarantine and was awaiting test results as a precaution since fellow Congressman Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week.
The two sat close together during a hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee chaired by Grijalva on Tuesday about the clearing of Black Lives Matters protesters by President Donald Trump from Lafayette Park on June 1.
It is unknown if Grijalava contracted the virus from Gohmert, but the committee on Saturday confirmed an account shared by Washington Post opinions columnist Radley Balko that the Trump administration said it wouldn't cooperate with the hearing unless Grijalva flew from Arizona to Washington D.C. to appear in person.
Gohmert's actions and positive test prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to impose a mask requirement on the House floor.
“While I cannot blame anyone directly for this, this week has shown that there are some Members of Congress who fail to take this crisis seriously," Grijalva said in a prepared statement. "Numerous Republican members routinely strut around the Capitol without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff, and their families. I’m pleased that Speaker Pelosi has mandated the use of masks at the Capitol to keep members and staff safe from those looking to score quick political points. Stopping the spread of a deadly virus should not be a partisan issue.
“I urge all of us to recognize the severity of this virus and follow the CDC guidance to keep our family, friends, and loved ones safe. We can all play a part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”
In his statement, Grijalva, who is at more severe risk of developing severe illness from the virus, said he is doing well.
“I currently have no symptoms, feel fine, and hope to make a quick and speedy recovery," his statement said.
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