Lawmakers 'May Have Been Exposed' to Coronavirus During Capitol Riot Lockdown, Physician Says

Claudia Harmata
·3 min read
Lawmakers 'May Have Been Exposed' to Coronavirus During Capitol Riot Lockdown, Physician Says

Police Officer Dies a Day After Sustaining Injuries During Riots at the Capitol Building

Officer Brian D. Sicknick's death marks the fifth fatality in connection to the violent mob attack on the Capitol

Lawmakers may have been exposed to COVID-19 while on lockdown during the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

On Sunday, the Office of Attending Physician released a statement saying that some members of Congress were on lockdown in the same room as someone who was infected with coronavirus, according to The Washington Post.

"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, the attending physician to Congress, wrote in an email on Sunday. "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."

Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty U.S. Capitol

Monahan advised lawmakers who may have been exposed to monitor for symptoms, continue social distancing and wear a mask.

"Additionally, individuals should obtain an RT-PCR coronavirus test next week as a precaution," Monahan's email stated.

RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Calls Trump 'Deranged, Unhinged, Dangerous': 'There Should be Prosecution Against Him'

Pro-Trump Rioters Storm U.S. Capitol, Forcing Evacuation of Lawmakers

Rioters could be seen breaking windows and storming the Senate chamber

While Monahan did not specify how large the group of lawmakers was and who was in the room, two house aides confirmed to the Post that he was referencing a room shown in a video posted by Punchbowl News on Friday.

In the footage, Republican Reps. Andy Biggs, Michael Cloud, Markwayne Mullin and Scott Perry could be seen refusing to put on face masks offered to them by Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester.

Just hours after members of Congress reassembled to ratify the Electoral College results of the 2020 presidential election, newly elected U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.

RELATED: Witness to Rioters Jumping Through Capitol Building Window Says 'It Was Like Out of a Zombie Movie'

In a statement on Twitter, the Kansas Republican, who appeared in person to cast his vote, said he was not experiencing any symptoms at the time.

"Late Wednesday evening, Congressman Jake LaTurner received a positive test result for COVID-19. Congressman LaTurner took the test as part of Washington, D.C.’s travel guidelines that requires visitors be tested. He is not experiencing any symptoms at this time," the statement read.

A statement in a separate tweet stated: "Congressman LaTurner is following the advice of the House physician and CDC guidelines and, therefore, does not plan to return to the House floor for votes until he is cleared to do so."

Since the onset of the pandemic, over 100 of the nation's lawmakers have had to quarantine due to testing positive or coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, according to GovTrack.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.