Possible virus exposure for lawmakers sheltering during riot

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People shelter in the House gallery as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House lawmakers may have been exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19 while they sheltered at an undisclosed location during the Capitol siege by a violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump.

The Capitol’s attending physician notified all lawmakers Sunday of the virus exposure and urged them to be tested. The infected individual was not named.

Dr. Brian Moynihan wrote that “many members of the House community were in protective isolation in the large room — some for several hours” on Wednesday. He said “individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”

Dozens of lawmakers were whisked to the secure location after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol that day, breaking through barricades to roam the halls and offices and ransacking the building.

Some members of Congress huddled for hours in the large room, while others were there for a shorter period. 

No further details were provided on which person has tested positive for the virus.

Some lawmakers and staff were furious after video surfaced of Republican lawmakers not wearing their masks in the room during lockdown. 

Newly elected Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a presidential ally aligned with a pro-Trump conspiracy group, was among those Republicans not wearing masks.

Trump is now facing impeachment after having incited supporters who were rallying near the White House before they marched to the Capitol. The House could vote on impeachment in a matter of days, less than two weeks before Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

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Associated Press writers Colleen Long and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.

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