Trump administration insisted this Democratic congressman hold hearings in person. Now he has COVID-19

Trump administration insisted this Democratic congressman hold hearings in person. Now he has COVID-19
Raul Grijalva's Official Congressional Portrait, image via.

Days after being forced to share air with a Texas congressman (and staunch anti-mask enthusiast)—who tested positive for COVID-19 the very next day—Democratic congressman Raúl Grijalva announced Saturday that he, too, has tested positive for the deadly virus. 


WASHINGTON— Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva issued the following statement after testing positive for COVID-19:

“The Attending Physician of the Capitol informed me that I tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, I will be self-isolating in quarantine at his recommendation. I currently have no symptoms, feel fine, and hope to make a quick and speedy recovery.

“While I cannot blame anyone directly for this, this week has shown that there are some Members of Congress who fail to take this crisis seriously. Numerous Republican members routinely strut around the Capitol without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff, and their families. I’m pleased that Speaker Pelosi has mandated the use of masks at the Capitol to keep members and staff safe from those looking to score quick political points. Stopping the spread of a deadly virus should not be a partisan issue.

“I urge all of us to recognize the severity of this virus and follow the CDC guidance to keep our family, friends, and loved ones safe. We can all play a part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

Unlike those working for Rep. Louie Gohmert, the aforementioned Texas congressman, the majority of Rep. Grijalva’s staff has been working remotely for months; thus, also unlike with Rep. Gohmert, no “in-person” reveal party of his COVID-19 test results was required. However, as The Washington Post’s Radley Balko points out, the hearing that brought the congressman (and others) together also wasn’t required.

“This is infuriating,” Balko tweeted in a thread on Saturday. “Grijalva chairs the committee investigating the clearing of Lafayette Square. He wanted his hearing to be via video. The Trump administration said it wouldn’t cooperate unless Grijalva flew from Arizona to D.C. to appear in person.”

“Given his comorbidities,” Balko continued, “Grijalva and his staff told me they saw this as a childish taunt—a dare. He agreed anyway, because he thought investigating what happened is important.”

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