A staffer for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) blames the cohort of Texas Democratic legislators for giving him COVID-19, raising questions about a potential super-spreader event in the nation's capital.
On Tuesday, Axios reported that an aide to the speaker and a White House official tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a rooftop reception to honor the fugitive lawmakers. Both individuals were fully vaccinated, although a White House official downplayed the staffer's illness.
"Yesterday, a fully-vaccinated senior spokesperson in the Speaker's press office tested positive for COVID after contact with members of the Texas state legislature last week," said Drew Hammier, deputy chief of staff to Pelosi.
The group of 50 Texas Democrats flouted federal regulations implemented by President Biden that require passengers on privately charted planes to wear masks for the duration of a flight. As of publication, no legal action has been taken against them, even though the Centers for Disease Control issued explicit warnings about not wearing masks. The Federal Aviation Administration did not respond to requests for comment from the Washington Free Beacon.
Since their arrival in Washington, D.C., six of the Texas Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19. The whereabouts of the Texas Democrats are unknown, and the public does not know how many people they infected during their trip to the nation's capital. Texas state representative Gene Wu, a prominent member of the group who has shared news articles on Twitter about coronavirus strains entering the country while on the lam, did not respond to a request for comment.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who recently stopped by a hospital for a "routine" visit after meeting with the Texas Democrats, called the stunt a moment of "extraordinary courage and commitment." Texas governor Greg Abbott (R.) vowed to arrest the Democrats when they return from Washington, D.C., which could take several weeks if they abide by the CDC's quarantine guidelines.