Pramila Jayapal speaks at the 2017 State Democratic Crab Feed
Pramila Jayapal speaks at the 2017 State Democratic Crab Feed (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Sad news to share: our own Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal says that she has test­ed pos­i­tive for COVID-19, the nov­el coro­n­avirus. Here’s her full statement.

Unit­ed States Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal (WA-07) received a pos­i­tive COVID-19 test result tonight after being locked down in a secured room at the U.S Capi­tol where numer­ous Repub­li­can law­mak­ers reck­less­ly refused to wear masks in the moments after the Jan­u­ary 6 attack. Dr. Bri­an Mon­a­han, the Attend­ing Physi­cian of the Unit­ed States Con­gress, advised rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Con­gres­sion­al staff on Sun­day that those in the secured room could have, “been exposed to anoth­er occu­pant with coro­n­avirus infec­tion.” The dura­tion in the room was mul­ti­ple hours and sev­er­al Repub­li­cans not only cru­el­ly refused to wear a mask but mocked col­leagues and staff who offered them one.

“Too many Repub­li­cans have refused to take this pan­dem­ic and virus seri­ous­ly, and in doing so, they endan­ger every­one around them. Only hours after Pres­i­dent Trump incit­ed a dead­ly assault on our Capi­tol, our coun­try, and our democ­ra­cy, many Repub­li­cans still refused to take the bare min­i­mum COVID-19 pre­cau­tion and sim­ply wear a damn mask in a crowd­ed room dur­ing a pan­dem­ic — cre­at­ing a super­spread­er event on top of a domes­tic ter­ror­ist attack,” said Con­gress­woman Jayapal.

“While I am iso­lat­ing per the Capi­tol Physician’s instruc­tions, I will con­tin­ue to work to the best of my abil­i­ty because the deep urgency of our many crises is paramount.”

“I share the out­rage and anger of my con­stituents and those across this coun­try who have watched Don­ald Trump fail to com­bat this rag­ing pan­dem­ic and refuse to take care of Amer­i­cans who are suf­fer­ing, dying, and dev­as­tat­ed. Now, we have also watched him open­ly fuel and incite these insur­rec­tion­ists who attacked the Capi­tol and our democ­ra­cy on Jan­u­ary 6—so I will not rest until I do every­thing in my pow­er to remove this Pres­i­dent from office.”

“I am also call­ing for seri­ous fines to be imme­di­ate­ly levied on every sin­gle Mem­ber who refus­es to wear a mask in the Capi­tol,” Jaya­pal con­tin­ued. “Addi­tion­al­ly, any Mem­ber who refus­es to wear a mask should be imme­di­ate­ly removed from the floor by the Sergeant at Arms. This is not a joke. Our lives and our liveli­hoods are at risk, and any­one who refus­es to wear a mask should be ful­ly held account­able for endan­ger­ing our lives because of their self­ish idiocy.”

Jaya­pal began quar­an­ti­ning imme­di­ate­ly after the attack on the U.S. Capi­tol, fear­ing and fore­see­ing exact­ly what would occur giv­en the num­ber of mask­less law­mak­ers sit­ting in the same room as her and her col­leagues. In an inter­view with The Cut on Thurs­day, she said, “I’m quar­an­ti­ning now because I am con­vinced that where we end­ed up, in the secured room — where there were over 100 peo­ple and many were Repub­li­cans not wear­ing masks — was a super­spread­er event.”

We have no fin­er rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Con­gress than Prami­la Jayapal.

Our hearts go out to our beloved Rep­re­sen­ta­tive. We wish her the best as she bat­tles this awful dis­ease. We’ll be pray­ing for her speedy recovery.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jaya­pal pre­vi­ous­ly received one dose of a COVID-19 vac­cine. The Pfiz­er and Mod­er­na vac­cines require two dos­es for max­i­mum efficacy.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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