Updated Jul 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

6th Texas Democrat in D.C. tests positive for COVID

A sixth member of the Texas Democratic delegation that fled their state for D.C. in an effort to block a state GOP voting bill has tested positive for COVID-19, the Dallas Morning News first reported Monday night.

What they're saying: State Rep. Rafael Anchia told the outlet that all 55 members of the delegation had been observing CDC guidelines, adding: "We're grateful that 100% of us were vaccinated in advance…. This delta variant is no joke."

  • Texas House Democrats spokesperson Cara Santucci said the unidentified sixth member of the delegation to test positive since Friday was self-isolating and that the group would no longer release daily COVID-19 case counts, per NBC News.
  • The caucus said in a statement Sunday after two members tested positive for the virus that all of the affected Democrats were "feeling good, with no symptoms or only mild symptoms."

Of note: Vice President Kamala Harris met last week with the Texas Democrats.

  • But it was determined that Harris and her staff "were not at risk of exposure because they were not in close contact with those who tested positive and therefore do not need to be tested or quarantined," per a statement from her spokesperson Symone Sanders.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Sam Baker: Some people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus can still get sick, but the risk of severe illness is far lower.

  • Roughly 3,700 fully vaccinated people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 infections nationwide, according to the CDC — not zero, but still dramatically lower than the risk faced by unvaccinated people.

Go deeper: Texas House Democrats plan to stay in D.C., will host a weeklong virtual conference

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details on the sixth Texas Democrat's positive test result in D.C. and further context on how the virus can affect people fully vaccinated against the virus.

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