Jun 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House Oversight chair gets coronavirus test

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney speaks at a hearing

Maloney speaks during a Feb. 11 hearing. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Oversight Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who joined in on mass protests in New York City this weekend, felt sick enough on Monday that she got tested for COVID-19 today and will self-quarantine until she gets her results, her office confirmed on Monday.

Why it matters: Maloney, in addition to several other lawmakers, participated in protests linked to the death of George Floyd over the last week and could risk bringing the coronavirus back to the halls of Congress, where the average age of House lawmakers is 58. Maloney is 74.

  • However, her office made clear to Axios that they "do not believe there's any causal relation to her seeking a test and attending the protests," Maloney's chief of staff Andrew Lowenthal told Axios.

Maloney later tweeted: "Over the past 24 hours I have found myself feeling unwell. Out of an abundance of caution and after consultation with medical professionals, today I was given a COVID test & am self quarantining as I await the results."

The big picture: Republicans had their scare with the coronavirus earlier in the pandemic when one of the participants at the annual CPAC conference tested positive at the event in mid-March.

  • President Trump attended the gathering, and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) self-quarantined after his exposure.

There have been no known instances of coronavirus community spread in Congress, but it has long been a concern, given the frequency of travel among members and the large number of staff needed on the Hill.

  • Some Democratic lawmakers who participated in protests felt conflicted between staying at home and listening to their constituents' pleas.
  • “I was very careful. I didn’t shake hands or anything,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), who marched in Phoenix last week. “I self-isolated for a few days after.”

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a new tweet from Maloney.

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