Brad Schneider among 3 House lawmakers said to have contracted COVID during siege of Congress
(JTA) — Rep. Brad Schneider, a Jewish Democrat who is a leader in the House on Israel issues, said he has coronavirus and blamed maskless Republicans who sheltered with him during last week’s insurrection at the Capitol.
“Last Wednesday, after narrowly escaping a violent mob incited by the President of the United States to attack the Capitol and its occupants, I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress,” Schneider, of Illinois, said Tuesday in a statement he also posted on Twitter. “Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask … even when politely asked by their colleagues.” Schneider said he is now in quarantine.
In new rules passed quickly on Tuesday, all House members are required to wear masks on the floor while speaking and not to allow the masks to fall or risk heavy fines. In response to the insurrection last Wednesday, metal detectors were placed at the entrances as an extra precaution.
President Donald Trump last week urged protesters who back his fictitious claims that he won November’s election to march on the Capitol. They raided and looted the building, sending lawmakers into hiding.
At least five deaths have resulted from the violence.
Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey and Pramila Jayapal of Washington state were the other two Democrats cloistered with the maskless Republicans who contracted COVID.
Schneider, who before his election was a lay leader in a number of Jewish and pro-Israel groups, recently advanced legislation that would give Israel a greater say in U.S. arms sales to the Middle East.