Illinois Rep Tests Positive, Says Others Refused to Wear Masks

Schneider is the third member of Congress to announce that he has tested positive for COVID-19 following the lockdown last week

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Rep. Brad Schneider, a Democrat from Illinois, said Tuesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 following a lockdown with other members of Congress during the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week.

“Last Wednesday, after narrowly escaping a violent mob incited by the President of the United States to attack the Capitol and its occupants, I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress," Schneider said.

"Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask... even when politely asked by their colleagues," he continued, pointing to a video posted online by Punchbowl News showing several House Republicans refusing to wear masks.

Schneider, who represents Illinois' 10th District, said he was tested for COVID-19 Monday at the advice of the House's attending physician and received his positive result Tuesday morning.

He is the third member of the House to announce that he has tested positive in the wake of the lockdown, after Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, of New Jersey, and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, of Washington - both Democrats.

"Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff," Schneider said.

Schneider said he was not yet experiencing symptoms and has been isolating from his wife "as much as possible" within their home in suburban Deerfield since returning from Washington, D.C. He noted that he planned to take any votes, including a potential impeachment vote against President Donald Trump, by proxy this week.

Schneider, like Jayapal, slammed their colleagues for not wearing masks and called for action.

“We can no longer tolerate Members coming to the floor or gathering in the halls of Congress without doing the bare minimum to protect those around them," Schneider said. "Those that flout public health guidance should be sanctioned and immediately removed from the House floor by the Sergeant at Arms for their reckless endangerment of their colleagues."

In an appearance on MSNBC on Monday morning, prior to receiving his positive test result, Schneider said he was "very concerned" about coronavirus exposure after seeing his colleagues refuse to wear masks during the lockdown.

"For whatever reason they chose not to put on a mask, they put the rest of us in danger," he said.

"I called my wife to tell her I was safe. She was hysterical. I calmed her down, but I wanted nothing more than to come home and give her a hug. But because of what happened on the 6th, I have not been able to do that," he continued. "I’m sleeping in the basement, I'm isolating, I'm wearing a mask when I'm in the house. And that's the consequence of the selfishness and the arrogance of a few of these Republican members."

"Their behavior was reprehensible," Schneider said. "And it's just really tragic that the selfishness and arrogance of a few Republican members put a lot of people at risk, including our staff."

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