Jan 10, 2021 - Health

Capitol physician warns lawmakers may have been exposed to COVID while hiding from mob

Two people wearing gas masks, helmets and fatigues walk through the Capitol
Pro-Trump rioters inside the Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 6. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Capitol's attending physician reportedly warned lawmakers on Sunday that they may have been exposed to someone with a coronavirus infection as they hid from a pro-Trump mob breaching the building on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Many members of Congress are in age groups that put them at a higher risk of dying or suffering serious illness associated with COVID-19.

What they're saying: "Many members of the House community" may have been exposed while "in protective isolation in [a] room located in a large committee hearing space. The time in this room was several hours for some and briefer for others," Brian Monahan, the attending physician of Congress, wrote in an email to all members of Congress and staff.

  • He urged lawmakers to obtain rapid coronavirus tests next week and to "continue daily coronavirus risk reduction measures," including wearing masks, social distancing and tracking possible COVID symptoms.

Of note: A handful of Republican lawmakers apparently refused to wear blue surgical masks after being ushered into a secure location following the breach on the Capitol, per CNN video.

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