More members of Congress contract COVID-19 amid national surge

JULIA JACOBO, BENJAMIN SIEGEL and ALLISON PECORIN
·2 min read
More members of Congress contract COVID-19 amid national surge
More members of Congress contract COVID-19 amid national surge

More members of Congress have tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to the deadly virus within the last week.

At least 28 members of Congress have become infected with the virus since the spring. This number does not include presumed positive cases or members who tested positive for antibodies.

PHOTO: Rep. Debbie Lesko, center, speaks at an Arizona Republican Party news conference, Nov. 5, 2020, in Phoenix. (Matt York/AP)
PHOTO: Rep. Debbie Lesko, center, speaks at an Arizona Republican Party news conference, Nov. 5, 2020, in Phoenix. (Matt York/AP)

Since Friday, the lawmakers who tested positive or have been exposed to the virus include: Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.; Tim Walberg, R-Mich.; Mark Pocan, D-Wis.; Don Young, R-Alaska; Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo.; and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

MORE: White House chief of staff Mark Meadows tests positive for COVID-19

Bustos and Walberg both experienced "mild" symptoms, according to statements they posted on Twitter. Young, the oldest member of Congress, was hospitalized over the weekend and is now recovering at home, confirming on Twitter that he is "alive."

Perlmutter said late Tuesday he had tested positive and was "asymptomatic" and "feeling good."

PHOTO: Rep. Mark Pocan, left, talks with Rep. Jeff Fortenberry during a House Appropriations Committee meeting, July 10, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Rep. Mark Pocan, left, talks with Rep. Jeff Fortenberry during a House Appropriations Committee meeting, July 10, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images, FILE)

Grassley announced in a statement Tuesday that he tested positive, but did not disclose how he was exposed.

Pocan is in quarantine after his mother tested positive for the virus and Lesko is isolating after an aide tested positive for COVID-19.

MORE: 34 people connected to White House, more than previously known, infected by coronavirus: Internal FEMA memo

The additional infections on Capitol Hill come as nearly every state experiences an uptick in cases, filling hospital intensive care units almost to capacity.

PHOTO: Rep. Don Young speaks during an event in Anchorage, Alaska, Aug. 26, 2020. (Mark Thiessen/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: Rep. Don Young speaks during an event in Anchorage, Alaska, Aug. 26, 2020. (Mark Thiessen/AP, FILE)

Sen. Rob Portman announced Wednesday that he will participate in the Phase 3 clinical trial for Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, calling vaccine development the "single most important part" of COVID-19 response.

"I look at it as a way I can play a small role in supporting our country’s health care response to this pandemic," Portman said. "I hope that my announcement today will encourage others to feel confident in participating in vaccine clinical trials being conducted across this country. I also hope it will reassure people about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines once they have gone through the trials and FDA approval process.”

PHOTO: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talks to reporters along with Rep. Cheri Bustos, who appears on screen, Nov. 3, 2020, at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Pool via AFP/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi talks to reporters along with Rep. Cheri Bustos, who appears on screen, Nov. 3, 2020, at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Pool via AFP/Getty Images, FILE)

Mask wearing remains a contentious subject on the Senate side, where masks are advised and worn by most members but are not required as they are in the House of Representatives.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer began his floor remarks Tuesday reminding members to wear a mask at all times on the Senate floor.

PHOTO: Rep. Tim Walberg listens at a hearing in the Rayburn Building, July 14, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Rep. Tim Walberg listens at a hearing in the Rayburn Building, July 14, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images, FILE)

More members of Congress contract COVID-19 amid national surge originally appeared on abcnews.go.com