Several members of Congress were huddled in secure locations during last week’s Capitol insurgency that left five people dead. At least three Democratic House members tested positive for Covid-19 after sheltering with Republicans who refused to wear masks.
Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) revealed their diagnoses this week, and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman announced her positive test on Monday. Coleman is a 75-year-old cancer survivor.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi imposed fines this week on members who refuse to wear masks on the House floor, with a $500 penalty for a first offense and $2,500 for a second offense.
Biden condemned anti-mask members while unveiling his Covid-19 vaccination plan in Wilmington, Del. During his remarks, he reiterated plans to mandate masks in public spaces once he takes office and implored Americans not to politicize the safety measure.
“I know it’s become a partisan issue, but what a stupid, stupid thing for it to happen. This is a patriotic act,” Biden said of wearing masks.