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Six members of Congress join AOC on Capitol COVID list: 29 lawmakers tested positive since December


Three more lawmakers announced Monday that they contracted coronavirus after four others – including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – announced their diagnoses over the weekend. 

‘I tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday,’ New York Republican Representative John Katko tweeted on Monday. ‘I am fully vaccinated and boosted, and am thankfully experiencing only mild symptoms. I will be voting by proxy in Washington this week and working from home as I recover. My constituent service team remains available and ready to serve.’

Republican Representative Ben Cline from Virginia tweeted on Monday: ‘I took a COVID test on Saturday and the result was positive.’

 ‘I have been vaccinated, and after consulting with my physician, I am taking all necessary precautions to isolate here at home in Virginia. Thanks to everyone for their support and assistance.’

Republican Arkansas Representative Rick Crawford also tested positive, according to a Fox News reporter. 

Since the start of December, 29 members of the House and Senate contracted coronavirus as the highly-contagious Omicron variant sweeps the nation and leads to an unprecedented spike in case rates. 

Omicron cases are continuing to rise in the U.S but deaths and hospitalizations caused by the virus are not following at the same rate, signaling the variant that has grinded much of America into a standstill is not making people as sick as the Delta variant.

Cases have more than tripled over the past two weeks alone, up from 198,326 per day to 709,850 per day. The number of Americans hospitalized with Covid is nearing record levels as well, reaching 130,000 this week.

On Saturday, Representatives Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Tennessee; Sean Casten, a Democrat from Illinois; and Young Kim, a Republican from California, joined the growing list of members of Congress to test positive for COVID-19. All three are fully vaccinated and received their booster shots.

Ocasio-Cortez, 32, announced her positive diagnosis on Sunday – just days after she was pictured partying maskless at a drag brunch in Miami, Florida.

Capitol Hill staffers stood in hour-long lines at the Capitol on Monday to get tested for coronavirus as both the House and Senate are in session

Since the start of December, 28 members of Congress who are fully vaccinated and boosted contracted coroanvirus in the midst of the massive and nationwide Omicron surge

Since the start of December, 28 members of Congress who are fully vaccinated and boosted contracted coroanvirus in the midst of the massive and nationwide Omicron surge

People wait in line on January 10, 2022 to get a COVID-19 test amid the Omicron surge that has affected all parts of the nation, including Capitol Hill

People wait in line on January 10, 2022 to get a COVID-19 test amid the Omicron surge that has affected all parts of the nation, including Capitol Hill

The Bronx representative made the announcement on her official Twitter page Sunday night, sharing a statement on House letterhead that stated: ‘Representative Ocasio-Cortez has received a positive test result for COVID-19.’

‘She is experiencing symptoms and is recovering at home,’ the statement added. ‘The Congresswoman received her booster shot this Fall, and encourages everyone to get their booster and follow all CDC guidance.’

All 28 members to test positive since the Omicron variant emerged are fully vaccinated and boosted, which is in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on how to best avoid infection. Crawford’s vaccination status is not immediately known. 

Omicron is a far more contagious, but admittedly less serious, case of COVID. There are a plethora of breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals with the spread of the new variant. 

GOP Representatives Ben Cline (left) and John Katko (right) on Monday became the latest two lawmakers to announce they contracted COVID-19

On Sunday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed her positive coronavirus diagnosis after she was pictured partying maskless in Miami, Florida

On Sunday, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed her positive coronavirus diagnosis after she was pictured partying maskless in Miami, Florida

The 29 lawmakers who got COVID since Dec. 1 

House of Representatives

Brett Guthrie, R-Ky. (Dec. 8) 

Matt Cartwright, D-Pa. (Dec. 18) 

Jason Crow, D-Colo. (Dec. 19) 

Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y. (Dec. 21)

Barbara Lee, D-Calif. (Dec. 21,)

Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. (Dec. 22)

Antonia Delgado, D-N.Y. (Dec. 22)

Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. (Dec. 22)

Kaiali’i Kahele, D-Hi. (Dec. 26)

Bobby Rush, D-Ill. (Dec. 28)

Doris Matsui, D-Calif. (Dec. 29)

Bill Pascrell, D-N.J. (Dec. 30)

Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill. (Dec. 30)

Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. (Dec. 31)

Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y. (Jan. 1) – second COVID diagnosis 

Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn. (Jan. 4)

Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif. (Jan. 5)

Michael McCaul, R-Texas (Jan. 7)

Jim Cooper, D-Tenn. (Jan. 8)

Sean Casten, D-Ill. (Jan. 8)

Young Kim, R-Calif. (Jan. 8)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. (Jan. 9)

Ben Cline, R-Va. (Jan. 10)

John Katko, R-N.Y. (Jan. 10) 

Rick Crawford, R-Ark. (Jan. 10)

Senate 

Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. (Dec. 19)

Cory Booker, D-N.J. (Dec. 19)

Chris Coons, D-Del. (Dec. 23)

Rob Portman, R-Ohio (Jan. 4)

Of senators to test positive since December 19 are Democrats Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, Cory Booker from New Jersey, Chris Coons from Delaware and Republican Rob Portman from Ohio. All are vaccinated and boosted.

Before that point, the last positive case in the Senate was in August when Democratic Senator John Hickenlooper from Colorado contracted the virus.

Among all 27 to test positive, Democratic Representative Adriano Espaillat from New York received his second positive diagnosis since the start of the pandemic. His first contraction was on January 13, 2021.

According to a running tally by PBS reporter Lisa Desjardins, 103 members of the House have contracted COVID since the onset of the pandemic and 18 members of the Senate. 

Not all of recent COVID hospitalizations are directly caused by the virus. Many people who go to the hospital for reasons outside of Covid, such as injury or other ailments, are being tested while there. Since the Omicron variant is so prevalent at the moment, many of these people are testing positive and being added to the total despite not having severe symptoms.

Deaths are not growing at the same rate, though, with 1,648 Americans dying from the virus every day – an 11 per cent increase from two weeks ago. This signals either the effectiveness of the vaccines, or the more mild nature of the new strain.

The U.S. also surpassed 60 million cases of the virus as of Monday morning according to Johns Hopkins University, another grim milestone for the country.

The record surge began in December, only weeks after the new variant was discovered by South African health officials. Omicron is the most infectious strain of the virus yet, and its ability to evade vaccine immunity has presented additional challenges.

AOC provided her own guidance after her coronavirus diagnosis, writing in a Sunday tweet: ‘For information on what to do if you’re exposed to COVID, test positive or want to schedule a test or vaccine in New York City — see our round-up of CDC and NYC resources here,’ before adding a link to a personal website.

It is unclear when or how AOC became infected.

Despite staunchly advocating for mask and vaccine mandates, AOC abandoned her own rhetoric last week during a trip to Miami, where she was spotted maskless at numerous venues.

Florida has some of the most lax masking rules and COVID-related restrictions.

Ocasio-Cortez’s vacation was dragged on Twitter by conservatives, including an account devoted to and endorsed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, which invited her to ‘enjoy a taste of freedom’ in the Sunshine State.

‘Welcome to Florida, AOC! We hope you’re enjoying a taste of freedom here in the Sunshine State thanks to [Ron DeSantis’] leadership,’ the tweet, by the Team DeSantis account, read.

The progressive congresswoman responded to photos and criticism online with a tweet saying: ‘Hasn’t Gov. DeSantis been inexplicably missing for like 2 weeks? If he’s around, I would be happy to say hello. His social media team seems to have been posting old photos for weeks. In the meantime, perhaps I could help with local organizing. Folks are quite receptive here.’

It's not known where the progressive representative caught the virus, although she was pictured at a drag brunch event in South Beach, Miami, on January 2 without a mask

It’s not known where the progressive representative caught the virus, although she was pictured at a drag brunch event in South Beach, Miami, on January 2 without a mask

News of AOC's diagnosis triggered online mockery, with one commentator saying AOC shouldn't have visited Florida, and another mocking the lawmaker's claim that conservatives angry about her trip to the Sunshine State were actually harboring a secret crush on her

News of AOC’s diagnosis triggered online mockery, with one commentator saying AOC shouldn’t have visited Florida, and another mocking the lawmaker’s claim that conservatives angry about her trip to the Sunshine State were actually harboring a secret crush on her

News of her diagnosis sparked mockery online, with one reply to the Twitter announcement berating Ocasio-Cortez for taking the trip to Florida during a time when Covid cases reached a record high.

Another joked about AOC’s assertion that anyone criticizing her for the rules-free trip actually harbored a crush on her, writing: ‘The virus just wants to date you.’ 

But on January 2, AOC was pictured getting up close and personal with pals at a drag brunch at the Palace Bar on Miami’s South Beach.

She was snapped cuddling maskless with Pose star Billy Porter, and basking in the attention of other attendees, who were evidently thrilled to be in the presence of the star lawmaker. 

It is unclear if Porter was also infected, or exposed, and he has yet to comment in the wake of AOC’s diagnosis. 

Florida confirmed a record 150,251 Covid cases January 4, around the time of AOC’s visit; its numbers have dropped markedly since, with 26,588 new cases reported Sunday. 

It’s not known where she caught the virus; 1,928 cases were confirmed Sunday in Washington, DC, while 81,388 tests came back positive in her home state of New  York.

Her presence in Florida, a state that she had long criticized for its lax coronavirus restrictions during earlier waves of the pandemic appeared to irk some Republicans and conservative journalists who became tired of her using the southern state as an example of how not to do things.

AOC's trip to the drag brunch thrilled attendees - but the lawmaker was accused of hypocrisy for backing draconian COVID rules, then jetting off to vacation in a state famed for having none. AOC pictured above partying with actor Billy Porter

AOC’s trip to the drag brunch thrilled attendees – but the lawmaker was accused of hypocrisy for backing draconian COVID rules, then jetting off to vacation in a state famed for having none. AOC pictured above partying with actor Billy Porter

AOC and Porter hugged during the outdoor event - he has yet to comment on her diagnosis, and its unclear if the Pose star has himself been exposed or infected

AOC and Porter hugged during the outdoor event – he has yet to comment on her diagnosis, and its unclear if the Pose star has himself been exposed or infected 

‘AOC is STILL lounging it up in Florida, in large crowds and maskless. This time at a Drag Queen bar in Miami. Rules for thee but not for me,’ wrote right wing journalist Brendon Leslie.

‘For those of you with zero sense of humor: the whole point of this post is to expose hypocrisy. We don’t actually care she’s maskless. We care she fear mongers about Florida but then has the audacity to vacation here,’ he added.

‘AOC was spotted partying in a bar maskless in the great free state of Florida. Absolute hypocrite,’ tweeted Twitter account Libs of Tik Tok.

AOC was also snapped enjoying cocktails at a Miami sushi restaurant with boyfriend Riley Roberts, with Roberts' Birkenstocks sparking a subsequent war of words between the firebrand congresswoman and conservative commentators

AOC was also snapped enjoying cocktails at a Miami sushi restaurant with boyfriend Riley Roberts, with Roberts’ Birkenstocks sparking a subsequent war of words between the firebrand congresswoman and conservative commentators 

Case rates have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels in December with the emergence of the highly-contagious Omicron variant

Case rates have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels in December with the emergence of the highly-contagious Omicron variant

Death rates have not corresponded to the surge in cases – indicative of expert analysis claiming the latest variant is not as deadly or serious as previous variants

Death rates have not corresponded to the surge in cases – indicative of expert analysis claiming the latest variant is not as deadly or serious as previous variants

The progressive congresswoman was blasted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for backing draconian restrictions in New York, then coming to the Sunshine State and enjoying its lack of COVID-19 protocols. 

Right-wing commentator Brendon Leslie took aim at AOC after news of the event emerged, and accused her of hypocrisy. 

AOC’s jaunt to Florida also saw her sip cocktails at an outdoor sushi restaurant with her boyfriend Riley Roberts. 

Roberts was snapped wearing a pair of Birkenstocks with bare feet, prompting jokes from Republicans, and subsequent backlash from AOC who accused conservatives of being sexually frustrated.  

Hitting back, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: ‘If Republicans are mad they can’t date me they can just say that instead of projecting their sexual frustrations onto my boyfriend’s feet. Ya creepy weirdos.’ 



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