Three Democratic members of Congress have tested positive for the coronavirus, and say they believe their infections are linked to their time spent in a secure location with colleagues who did not wear masks during last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol.
Representative Brad Schneider, Democrat of Illinois, said he received a positive test result Tuesday morning after driving home to Illinois, and that he did not have symptoms. Like Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey and Pramila Jayapal of Washington, two Democrats who had announced positive tests on Monday, he directly blamed a group of House Republicans who refused to wear masks while sheltering in a secure location during the Capitol siege.
“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,” Mr. Schneider said.
He called for lawmakers who ignore public health guidance to be sanctioned “and immediately removed from the House floor by the Sergeant-at-arms for their reckless endangerment of their colleagues.”
Capitol Hill has long struggled to contain the spread of the virus, and within hours of the beginning of the 117th Congress on Jan. 3, lawmakers began announcing positive test results.
Now lawmakers, aides, police officers and reporters who fled to secure locations during the siege have been warned that they might have been exposed to the virus while sheltering from the mob.
On Sunday, Representative Chuck Fleischmann, Republican of Tennessee, who was also in protective isolation at the Capitol during the siege, said that he had tested positive for the virus after being exposed to his roommate, Representative Gus Bilirakis of Florida, also a Republican.
Mr. Fleischmann told the local news station WRCB that he was notified Wednesday that Mr. Bilirakis had tested positive, but did not receive the notification amid the riot. He said he did not know how many other lawmakers he had come in contact with.
Democrats, already frustrated by resistance from their Republican colleagues to wearing masks, accused maskless Republicans in the secure House location of reckless indifference.
“It angers me when they refuse to adhere to the directions about keeping their masks on,” Ms. Watson Coleman said in an interview. “It comes off to me as arrogance and defiance. And you can be both, but not at the expense of someone else.”
Ms. Jayapal said on Twitter that she had tested positive “after being locked down in a secured room at the Capitol where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one.”
Ms. Jayapal, who said she had begun quarantining immediately after the siege on the Capitol, also said that any member of Congress who did not wear a mask should be removed from the floor by the sergeant-at-arms and fined.
“This is not a joke,” she said in a statement. “Our lives and our livelihoods are at risk, and anyone who refuses to wear a mask should be fully held accountable for endangering our lives because of their selfish idiocy.”