WASHINGTON (AP) – MPs may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 while sheltering in an undisclosed location during the siege of the Capitol by a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump.
The Capitol doctor informed all lawmakers on Sunday about the exposure to the virus and urged them to be tested. The infected person is not identified.
Dr Brian Moynihan wrote that “many members of the House community were in protective isolation in the large room – some for several hours” on Wednesday. He said “people may have been exposed to another resident with a coronavirus infection.”
Dozens of lawmakers were taken to safety after rebel protesters stormed the Capitol that day, breaking barricades to tour halls and offices and looting the building.
Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the great room, while others were there for a shorter period.
No further details were provided on which person tested positive for the virus.
Some lawmakers and officials were furious after a video surfaced of Republicans not wearing their masks in the room during the lock.
Georgia’s newly elected Marjorie Taylor Green, a presidential ally attached to a pro-Trump conspiracy group, was among those Republicans who did not wear masks.
Trump is now facing impeachment after inciting supporters who gather near the White House before heading to the Capitol. The chamber can vote for impeachment in a matter of days, less than two weeks before Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20th.
A Capitol police officer died after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher as rebels descended on the building and many other officers were injured. A California woman was shot dead by Capitol police and three others died in an emergency during the chaos.
Authorities announced the death of a 51-year-old Capitol police officer on Sunday. Two acquaintances said that the death of the policeman was an obvious suicide. Officer Howard Liebengood was assigned to the Senate Division and has been in the department since 2005. He is the son of a former Senate sergeant.
It was unclear whether his death was linked to Wednesday’s events.
Officials were not authorized to discuss the issue in public and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Associated Press writers Colin Long and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.