The Excitable People of the Republican conference used the mobbing of the Capitol they helped to incite to infect another member of Congress with a deadly virus:
Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus after being sequestered for several hours during last week’s siege on the Capitol building in a room with mask-less Republican colleagues.
After armed, pro-Trump insurgents stormed into the Capitol building on Wednesday, January 6, many congressmembers and their staffs — including Jayapal, who had initially been stranded in the gallery of the House chamber — were evacuated to a secure location; though over 100 people were crowded into a poorly ventilated room for hours, several of them refused to wear masks.
In a statement noting the “selfish idiocy” of fellow House members who refused to take basic safety precautions in the midst of a pandemic claiming the lives of more than 3,000 Americans a day, Jayapal said, “Too many Republicans have refused to take this pandemic and virus seriously, and in doing so, they endanger everyone around them. 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 damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic — creating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack.”
In an interview with The Cut last Thursday, Jayapal had predicted this exact outcome. She said she was already quarantining, “because I am convinced that where we ended up, in the secured room — where there were over 100 people and many were Republicans not wearing masks — was a superspreader event.”
In her statement Monday night, Jayapal’s office took care to highlight that “the duration in the room was multiple hours, and several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one,” linking to video showing Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester pleading with a group of Republicans to put on the masks she was offering them. They included newly elected Georgia Rep. (and Qanon enthusiast) Marjorie Taylor Greene, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, Texas Rep. Michael Cloud, and Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, who can be heard rebuffing Rochester’s proffered mask by telling her, “I’m not trying to get political here.” (Greene’s office would later tell CNN, “Congresswoman Greene is a healthy adult… She does not believe healthy Americans should be forced to muzzle themselves with a mask. America needs to reopen and get back to normal.”)
Jayapal’s statement includes her call to levy “serious fines… on every single Member who refuses to wear a mask in the Capitol,” as well as the suggestion that “any Member who refuses… should be immediately removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms. This is not a joke. 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.”
Jayapal’s full statement about this is worth attending. Republicans are acting like this on both a micro and macro level.