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Third lawmaker in lockdown tests positive for COVID-19

Washington DC

FILE – In this July 29, 2020 file photo, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., speaks during a House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust on Capitol Hill in Washington. A second Democratic member of the House who was forced to go into lockdown during last week’s violent protest has tested positive for COVID-19. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington says she has tested positive. She criticized Republican members of Congress who declined to wear a mask when it was offered to them. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A third Democratic member of the House who was forced to go into lockdown during last week’s violent siege at the U.S. Capitol has tested positive for COVID-19.

Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., said on Twitter that he tested positive Tuesday morning. He said he is not feeling symptoms but expressed dismay at the spate of positive test results and blamed Republican members of Congress who declined to wear a mask when it was offered to them during the lockdown.

“Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff,” Schneider said.

Schneider’s comments came a few hours after similar remarks from Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who said she had tested positive and criticized GOP members of Congress.

“Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them,” Jayapal said. “Only hours after President Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, our country, and our democracy, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution” and simply wear a mask in a crowded room.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey said Monday that she had tested positive for COVID-19.

They were among dozens of lawmakers whisked to a secure location when pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period.

All three lawmakers are isolating. Jayapal called for “serious fines to be immediately levied on every single member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol.”

Any member who refuses to wear a mask should be removed from the floor by the sergeant at arms, she said.

“This is not a joke,” she said. “Our lives and our livelihoods are at risk, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy.”

Over the weekend, the Capitol’s attending physician notified all lawmakers of possible virus exposure and urged them to be tested.

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