The Capitol insurrection seems to have caused a superspreader event among lawmakers. Some Republicans refused to mask up.

congress evacuation

Summary List Placement

When pro-Trump rioters besieged the Capitol last Wednesday, Congress was forced to flee.

Lawmakers were in the process of confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory when they had to evacuate the Congressional chambers and take shelter in a secure location. Hundreds of representatives hid together for hours until they could return that evening. 

Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania told CBS News that 300 to 400 people took shelter in the same place, and “about half of the people in the room” were not wearing masks, even though they’d been offered disposal ones. 

That situation prompted “a COVID superspreader event,” she said — a circumstance in which one person infects a disproportionately large number of others.

Indeed, three Congresspeople have tested positive since the riots. Rep. Brian Schneider of Illinois announced he had COVID-19 on Tuesday, as did Rep. Pramila Jayapal from Washington. Rep. Bonnie Watson of New Jersey announced a positive test result on Monday.

Ticking all the boxes for a superspreading event

On average, it takes about four to five days after getting infected with the virus to show symptoms. Given that timing, it’s likely transmission did indeed occur among lawmakers during the Capitol insurrection. Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of the US Congress, said members could have been exposed while taking shelter from the mob.

“I am convinced that where we ended up, in the secured room — where there were over 100 people and many were Republicans not wearing masks — was a superspreader event,” Jayapal told New York Magazine’s The Cut last week.

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An average person who gets the coronavirus transmits it to between 2 and 2.5 others. A superspreader event, then, refers to any instance in which an infected person passes the virus …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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