Another Washington D.C. lawmaker, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), has tested positive for coronavirus and issued a scathing critique of his Republican colleagues who have gone about their business on Capitol Hill sans face masks, as partisan tension builds over new cases.
In a Saturday statement, Grijalva announced he tested positive for the virus and will self-isolate, adding that “I currently have no symptoms, feel fine, and hope to make a quick and speedy recovery.”
Grijalva chairs the Natural Resources committee, and according to media reports, attended a hearing on Tuesday with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who tested positive for coronavirus the following day, sending Grijalva and other lawmakers into self-quarantine just in case.
While it can’t be confirmed exactly how Grijalva contracted the virus, he panned Republican lawmakers who he said “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,” Grijalva said in a statement.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week mandated face masks in response to Gohmert testing positive, which Grijalva praised in his statement.
“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,” he said in a statement. “Stopping the spread of a deadly virus should not be a partisan issue.”
Gohmert’s diagnosis has sent shockwaves through Capitol Hill, in part because the Texas representative has been observed going without a face mask. With Grijalva’s announcement that he tested positive, he is by an NPR count the 12th congressional lawmaker to be diagnosed.