2 members of Congress say they met man with coronavirus
Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar came in contact with an infected person at CPAC
Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar said Sunday they are isolating themselves after determining they had contact at a political conference with a man who has tested positive for coronavirus.
Cruz, R-Texas, said he had brief contact with the man at the Conservative Political Action Conference nearly two weeks ago and would spend the next few days at his home in Texas until a full 14 days had passed since their interaction.
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Gosar, R-Ariz., said he had sustained contact with the man at CPAC and that he and three members of his senior staff were under self-quarantine. His office will be closed for the week, Gosar said in a tweet.
Besides Cruz and Gosar, the CPAC schedule listed three other senators and 12 House members who were scheduled to speak. They included No. 2 House GOP leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana, No. 3 Republican leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming and congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who has since become the White House chief of staff. Also on the schedule was Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
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Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke at CPAC, but the White House said there was no indication that either had met or were in “close proximity” to the infected attendee.
Meanwhile, Maryland reported two new cases on Sunday, raising to five the total confirmed cases in the state. Virginia reported its second case.
In a separate case of coronavirus, a prominent Episcopal church in Washington, D.C., suspended all activities after announcing that one of its senior leaders was the first person in the nation’s capital to test positive for the virus.
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The Rev. Timothy Cole, the rector of Christ Church Georgetown, was in stable condition after being hospitalized Saturday night, according to a statement from the Rev. Crystal Hardin, the assistant rector.
In an unrelated case, Cruz said he met the man being treated for coronavirus 10 days ago at CPAC in suburban Oxon Hill, Maryland. The Texas Republican said he’s not experiencing any symptoms, feels fine and has been advised by medical authorities that the odds of transmission were extremely low.
Yet, Cruz said, out of an abundance of caution he will remain at home in Texas for another few days until a full 14 days have passed since the interaction. He said medical authorities advised him that those who have interacted with him in the last 10 days should not be concerned about potential transmission.
The Senate has a vote scheduled Monday evening and plans to be in session this week considering energy and possibly other legislation. The Senate and the House are set for a one-week recess the week of March 16.
Health officials said Sunday said they had determined as part of their investigation that “an individual’s visitation to Christ Church Georgetown warrants precautionary measures” and they recommended a temporary halt to services. In response, the church publicly identified Cole as the victim.
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Virginia recorded its first case Saturday when a Marine stationed at Fort Belvoir and living at the Quantico base was found to have the virus. On Sunday, Virginia officials announced a second case involving a Fairfax man in his 80s who took a Nile River cruise.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.