Arizona Lawmaker Raul Grijalva Tests Positive for Covid-19

Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva says he’s been infected with the coronavirus, a few days after a Capitol Hill hearing where a Republican House member in attendance later tested positive for Covid-19.

Grijalva, who issued a statement saying he isn’t exhibiting any symptoms, has been self-isolating at his home in Washington since Wednesday upon learning that Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert tested positive. Grijalva presided over a hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee a day earlier.

“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,” said the Arizona Democrat. “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.”

After Gohmert announced he’d tested positive, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi required members and their staff to wear masks while in House office buildings. At 72, Grijalva would be considered among those at higher risk from coronavirus complications. Covid-19 cases in Washington have crept higher over the past month after trailing off in June.

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, tweeted that Grijalva is the 10th member of Congress to test positive for Covid-19 and asked Pelosi, “where is your plan for testing?”

Pelosi on Friday told CNN that it would be up to doctors to order testing for lawmakers.

“It is not just about testing members of Congress,” she said. “We have the support staff. There are 20,000 people who make the Congress function. Now, they’re not all there now because of the coronavirus. But thousands are. So, it is not just about us. And why should we take precedence over people out there, especially in the minority communities who don’t have access to testing?”

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