A New Jersey congresswoman has tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering in place with fellow lawmakers during the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week. Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman, 75, said believes she was exposed whilealongside her colleagues, including some who refused to wear masks.
“I received a positive test result for COVID-19, and am home resting at this time. While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents,” the Democrat said in a statement Monday.
Coleman, a breast cancer survivor, later said she was on her way to a local hospital to receive a monoclonal antibody treatment. “I thank you for the outpouring of supportive messages. The love you’ve sent has been overwhelming,” Coleman tweeted. “Please, wear a mask and social distance.”
The members were forced to evacuate after a mob of violent pro-Trump supportersthe U.S Capitol on Wednesday, halting a joint session of Congress to count electoral votes and forcing lawmakers into hiding until the building was secure.
In her statement Monday, Coleman said she was among several members of Congress to receive advanced doses of the Pfizer-Biotech COVID-19 vaccine but said she decided to get tested for COVID-19 after sheltering with the maskless lawmakers.
Physicians and lawmakers have sounded the alarm about the possible spread of coronavirus at the secure holding location. Representative Susan Wild, speaking on CBSN last week, said lawmakers evacuated from the Capitol were taken to a secure location that held 300-400 people. She also said some lawmakers refused to wear masks.
“It’s exactly the kind of situation that we’ve been told by the medical doctors not to be in, you know, close proximity, especially with people who aren’t wearing masks,” Wild said. “We weren’t even allowed to get together with our families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and now we’re in a room with people who are flaunting the rules and are very much crowded in here.”