Democratic Lawmaker Tests Positive For COVID-19 After Capitol Attack

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) announced Monday she’s tested positive for COVID-19 and linked her diagnosis back to last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

In a tweet, Watson Coleman, 75, said she decided to take a test after the riot by President Donald Trump’s supporters forced members of Congress to shelter together. Several of her colleagues, she noted, “refused to wear masks” during the incident. 

“I am home resting at this time,” the lung cancer survivor added. “While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents.”

Watson Coleman’s diagnosis indicates the possibility of a larger outbreak at the Capitol. Members of Congress were forced to shelter together for hours while Trump supporters, riled up by his baseless claims that the election was rigged and stolen from him, stormed the Capitol. 

Over the weekend, the attending physician to members of Congress advised lawmakers and Capitol staff to get tested for the coronavirus due to the increased risk of contracting the virus during last week’s siege.

The time they spent in hiding together “was several hours for some and briefer for others. During this time, individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection,” Dr. Brian P. Monahan wrote in a memo to lawmakers. 

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