Trump Riot Becoming Coronavirus Super-Spreader Event

New Jersey Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman, a 75-year-old cancer survivor and the first African American to represent her state in Congress, announced Monday afternoon that she has tested positive for the coronavirus. She indicated Monday afternoon that she is experiencing mild symptoms.

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Her disclosure comes in the wake of the alert sent to lawmakers Sunday morning by the Office of the Attending Physician of Congress.

“On Wednesday January 6, many members of the House community were in protective isolation in room located in a large committee hearing space,” Brian Monahan wrote in an email. “The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others. During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”

A video clip first published by Punchbowl News showed several mask-less Republicans — including Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Michael Cloud (Tex.), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.) and Scott Perry (Pa.) — refusing masks offered by Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (Del.) while in the room.

Blunt Rochester tweeted Friday that although she was “disappointed in my colleagues who refused to wear a mask, I was encouraged by those who did. My goal, in the midst of what I feared was a super spreader event, was to make the room at least a little safer.”

Scott Gotlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said Sunday on the CBS News program “Face the Nation, “There’s going to be chains of transmission that come out of that kind of mass gathering. The crowd wasn’t adhering to what we know are good practices in terms of mask-wearing and other things. I think they deliberately eschewed those things. So, yeah, we’re going to see chains of transmission come out of that kind of a gathering, for sure.”

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agreed. He told the McClatchy newspaper chain “you have to anticipate that this is another surge event. Then these individuals all are going in cars and trains and planes going home all across the country right now. So I do think this is an event that will probably lead to a significant spreading event.”

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