Washington – Three of the Democratic state legislators who left Texas to obstruct an attempt by Republicans to impose new and broad restrictions on voting have tested positive for COVID-19 and were quarantined, the director of the Democratic bench in the State House of Representatives.
One lawmaker tested positive on Friday and the other two on Saturday, according to Democratic caucus director Phillip Martin. All three were fully vaccinated against the virus, said Martin, who declined to reveal their names or health status “out of respect for the privacy of the members and their personal health.”
More than 50 Texas lawmakers arrived in Washington Monday after leaving their state in a private chartered plane. They were criticized by Republicans and others because in a photo they are seen without masks on board the plane, although federal guidelines against the pandemic do not establish the mandatory use of masks on private aircraft.
Representative Chris Turner, chair of the caucus, said in a statement that the group is consulting with health experts in Texas on additional recommendations.
“This is a serious reminder that covid continues with us, and while vaccines provide tremendous protection, we must continue to take the necessary precautions,” Turner noted.
Covid-19 infections in people fully inoculated against the disease, known as “post-vaccination” infections, are rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Democrats left the state to prevent the necessary quorum in the Republican-controlled legislature seeking to pass an initiative that would impose new voting restrictions in Texas.
Members of the Democratic caucus met with Vice President Kamala Harris, including two of the three lawmakers who tested positive, Harris spokeswoman Symone Sanders said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Based on the date of the positive results, it was determined that the vice president and her staff present at the meeting were not in danger of exposure, because they were not in close contact with those who tested positive and therefore do not need to be tested or be quarantined, ”Sanders wrote.
“The vice president and her staff are fully vaccinated,” he added.
The Vice President and her staff are fully vaccinated.
— SDS (@SymoneSanders46) July 17, 2021