House

Alabama Republican tests positive for COVID-19

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said Thursday that he tested positive for COVID-19, making him the fourth House member this week alone to reveal they contracted the virus.

Rogers said that he’s currently experiencing “mild symptoms” and has gone into quarantine.

“This morning I tested positive for COVID-19. I immediately consulted with the Office of the Attending Physician and am currently self-isolating. I am experiencing mild symptoms but otherwise I am in good spirits and looking forward to getting back to work soon,” Rogers said.

 

Three other House members have also said in the last few days that they tested positive for COVID-19: Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) and Ken Calvert (R-Calif.).

Calvert said Tuesday that he had tested positive late last month but had recovered and returned to Washington.

Wilson, meanwhile, voted on the House floor on Wednesday before announcing hours later that he had tested positive. He said that he did not have any symptoms. 

Wilson also spoke on the House floor earlier in the day, but was wearing a mask under rules set by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that members wear facial coverings at all times.

Neither Rogers nor Loudermilk voted on the House floor on Wednesday. 

For months, House members were required to wear masks on the floor but permitted to remove them while speaking before the cameras. Health experts say that speaking provides an opportunity for viral droplets to spread, but lawmakers had relaxed the mask requirement for speaking time out of concerns that people with hearing issues wouldn’t be able to read lips while watching proceedings on television.

But Pelosi announced on Tuesday that members would be denied speaking time on the House floor going forward if they didn’t have masks on. 

Pelosi began requiring masks on the House floor in July after dozens of House Republicans refused to wear them. That group included Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who tested positive for COVID-19 at the time after attending committee hearings and voting on the floor without a mask.

A total of 39 members of the House and Senate have tested positive for COVID-19 since March, while several others have tested positive for antibodies or had presumed cases. 

Nearly half the positive tests in Congress have been since November alone as cases, deaths and hospitalizations have spiked nationally.

Tags Alabama Barry Loudermilk Coronavirus COVID-19 Joe Wilson Ken Calvert Louie Gohmert Masks Mike Rogers Nancy Pelosi

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