House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admonished lawmakers for not social distancing Monday after convening Democrats, some of whom are within COVID-19 quarantine periods, on Sunday to ensure a fourth term at the gavel.
“With a sense of urgency, I write about respecting proper health and safety guidelines on the Floor, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to colleagues, taking aim at members who ignored distancing rules when they congregated Monday evening to challenge the seating of members in states where the Electoral College count is being questioned. “As we go forward, please note with respect the guidance set forth by the Office of the Attending Physician and the Sergeant at Arms. When staff urge you to leave the Floor, it is not a suggestion. It is a direction.”
Pelosi’s sudden concern over Wuhan virus guidelines follows Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore appearing to travel to the capital for Pelosi’s speaker vote while infected with the novel coronavirus.
On Dec. 28, Moore announced she had tested positive for COVID-19, putting Sunday’s vote within the quarantine period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People infected with the virus are supposed to undergo a minimum 10-day isolation, irrespective of whether they have symptoms, according to CDC guidelines. Symptomatic cases are to remain isolated until 10 days after the start of symptoms, in addition to improving symptoms and going 24 hours without a fever.
Moore’s office did not respond to The Federalist’s inquiries regarding what day the Wisconsin congresswoman tested positive, or whether the representative had tested negative prior to her trip to Washington.
According to GovTrack, 108 members of Congress have either quarantined, tested positive for the coronavirus, or come in contact with an infected person.
Louisiana Republican Congressman-elect Luke Letlow died from COVID-19-related complications last week.