At least 14 members of the US House of Representatives and Senate – seven Republicans and seven Democrats – have tested positive or are presumed to have had Covid-19 since the coronavirus pandemic began earlier this year, with Representative Raul Grijalva becoming the latest on Saturday, Reuters reports.
Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, tested positive for the coronavirus but feels fine and has gone into isolation, he said in a statement on Saturday.
Grijalva expressed frustration with the reluctance of some Republican lawmakers to wear masks, which can slow the spread of the virus.
The Texas Republican Louie Gohmert, 66, a staunch conservative, said on Wednesday he tested positive in a prescreening at the White House but did not have any symptoms.
“It’s really ironic, because a lot of people have made a big deal out of my not wearing a mask a lot. But in the last week or two, I have worn a mask more than I have in the whole last four months,” he said.
Representative Morgan Griffith, 62, a Virginia Republican and member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said in mid-July that he had tested positive. His office said he did not have significant symptoms.
The South Carolina Republican Representative Tom Rice, 62, said on Facebook in mid-June that he, his wife and son had all tested positive for the coronavirus but that all were “on the mend.”
Mike Kelly, 72, a Republican from Pennsylvania, tested positive for the coronavirus in late March at a drive-through testing site.
He told an interviewer that it took him about a month to recover and that he lost 30 pounds (14 kg).
The Utah Democrat Representative Ben McAdams caught the virus in March, was hospitalised and needed oxygen.
After his release, he warned others to take the virus seriously. “I’m young, I’m 45 years old, I’m healthy, I exercise every day and it hit me really hard,” he told ABC.
Other affected lawmakers include Nydia Velazquez, 67, a Democrat from New York, the Republican Florida Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, 58, and the Republican Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, 57, who had said on 22 March that he had tested positive and was in quarantine.