An ex-staffer of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has contracted the coronavirus, something the California congressman was quick to publicly address.
“Medical professionals believe that my former staff member likely contracted the virus after leaving the office, but we will still be taking additional precautions over the next few days,” Schiff said, according to The Hill.
“The former staffer is feeling better and no current staff have reported any flu-like symptoms at this time,” the House Intelligence Committee chair continued.
He went on: “Throughout this health crisis, I feel that the job of elected officials is to push out the best information possible, listen to the advice of public health professionals and scientists, and be cautious.
Not one to let a crisis go to waste, Schiff then attempted to use the situation to promote the Democrats’ narrative on health care, saying: “I’m also distinctly aware that, as a Member of Congress, I have access to affordable and quality healthcare, and that if I were sick and needed to take time off work, I would not lose a paycheck.
“Many Americans don’t have the same assurances, and fear the economic pains of Coronavirus, not just the potential deleterious health effects,” Schiff complained. “It’s incumbent on Congress to continue to act in their interests.”
Last week, Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) announced that she was closing her Capitol Hill office after a member tested positive for the disease, according to Politico.
A number of Republican lawmakers including Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) and Reps. Doug Collins (GA), Matt Gaetz (FL), and Paul Gosar (AZ) have already entered self-quarantine, according to The Washington Post, after it was revealed that an attendee at February’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with whom they had interacted tested positive for the coronavirus.
Cruz extends quarantine
Cruz initially indicated that he would remain in self-imposed isolation for two weeks as a precautionary move, but last week he revealed that his period of quarantine would be extended following the discovery that he had also interacted with another infected individual.
“Unfortunately, last night I was informed I had a second interaction with an individual who yesterday tested positive for COVID-19,” Cruz declared in a statement on Friday, according to The Hill.
The person in question was Spanish politician Santiago Abascal, someone with whom Cruz shook hands while sitting a conference table last week.
“My understanding is that Mr. Abascal tested positive for COVID-19 last night,” Cruz said. “His staff have informed us that he was asymptomatic at the time of our meeting and that several days after our meeting he had extended interactions with another individual who has also tested positive.”