GOP Lawmakers Are Self-Quarantining After Coronavirus Exposure
Self-quarantining and self-owning.
For weeks, Donald Trump’s approach to the coronavirus has been to downplay the scope of the epidemic while he and his surrogates mock those expressing concern.
Reviewing the coronavirus supplemental appropriation and preparing to go vote. pic.twitter.com/wjJ4YY4VZz
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 4, 2020
That’s Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz showing off his lack of tact and humor by wearing a full-on gas mask to vote on Congress’ coronavirus funding bill.
Gaetz was criticized by a number of his colleagues for showing such insensitivity—a point that was really driven home when just two days later, two of Gaetz’s own constituents in Florida died after contracting the virus.
Soon after, Gaetz himself announced that he was entering into self-quarantine.
While the Congressman is not experiencing symptoms, he received testing today and expects results soon.
Under doctor’s usual precautionary recommendations, he’ll remain self-quarantined until the 14-day period expires this week.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 9, 2020
If you think maybe Gaetz regrets making such an insensitive joke out of the virus now that he’s finding himself directly affected, nope! Instead, he’s trying to rewrite his own history, insisting that the gas mask was a stunt not meant to mock, but to RaIsE aWaReNeSs.
Congressman Gaetz had expected COVID-19 to impact Congress, given the elevated frequency of travel and human contact, and demonstrated his concern last week on the House Floor.https://t.co/zb6P9bmHK7
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 9, 2020
That’s not exactly believable. To start, he wore a freaking gas mask of the House floor. Also, while he did vote to approve the spending bill, he took to Twitter to let everyone know he “didn’t feel good” about it. That’s probably not the way you’d talk about something you feel gas-mask-strongly about.
In 2012, I wore a hoodie on the House Floor to make a statement about the deadly consequences of racial profiling. On Wednesday, @RepMattGaetz wore a gas mask in the chamber, making light of an epidemic that has killed 14 Americans.
Guess which one of us was forcibly removed. pic.twitter.com/nh2LHPeIFW
— Bobby L. Rush (@RepBobbyRush) March 6, 2020
Gaetz isn’t the only member of Congress to enter into self-quarantine after experiencing exposure to the virus. The Florida lawmaker reportedly came into contact with a person who had tested positive for the virus at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference. As if that event weren’t already toxic enough.
So far, five GOP lawmakers have announced that they were entering into self-quarantine after coming into contact with the virus at CPAC.
remember when the infected CPAC person turned out to have posed for photos or shaken hands with an improbably large number of GOP-ers at that conference except Mitt Romney who they tried to punish by not letting him come
— Lili Loofbourow (@Millicentsomer) March 10, 2020
In addition to Gaetz, Ted Cruz, Doug Collins, Paul A. Gosar (of “I’d rather die gloriously in battle” fame), and Donald Trump’s brand new chief of staff Mark Meadows are all in quarantine after CPAC.
Interesting. There hasn’t been a single Zodiac killing since Ted Cruz went into self-quarantine.
— ben schwartz (@benschwartz_) March 9, 2020
One Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Julia Brownley of California, has also announced she is “working remotely” after meeting with someone in Washington last week who has tested positive for the virus.
While these lawmakers are all doing the responsible thing by isolating themselves rather than risk spreading the virus, it’s hard not to think about how impossible this sort of self-isolation would be for most of their constituents. Some companies are increasing their employees’ access to sick days or ability to work remotely due to coronavirus concerns, but the ability to enter into a two-week self-quarantine is a financial privilege, and not one available to most people.
But again, these lawmakers are doing the right thing. Unlike Donald Trump, who seems totally unphased by the spreading infection, despite having met with four of the five Republicans since their exposure at CPAC. Trump is a known germaphobe but Gaetz says Trump was “not hyper cautious about being in the same space” as him, even knowing of the lawmaker’s exposure.
I just spoke to Rep. Gaetz, who said he was put into a “closed up room” on AF1 after he found out he might have been exposed to Covid19.
After landing, Trump “coaxed” him up front before leaving.
“He was not hyper cautious about being in the same space that I was in.”
— Ben Terris (@bterris) March 9, 2020
Doug Collins, who has self-quarantined, greeting Trump in Georgia last week (AFTER CPAC) pic.twitter.com/EY0qeVIIHe
— Sam Stein (@samstein) March 9, 2020
And then this happened:
President Trump shakes hands with people after arriving in Orlando, Florida. pic.twitter.com/rGVDaa9JsA
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 9, 2020
And Ben Carson, who, as our Housing and Urban Development Secretary has no business giving this kind of advice, is encouraging people to still attend Trump’s rallies because that’s what’s really important here.
how the fuck do they know if they ‘are healthy’ ben and what if they have been exposed but do not have symptoms ben and the fuck are u even in charge of anything https://t.co/w8lCnkkB81
— darth™ (@darth) March 9, 2020
Good to see everyone’s taking this so seriously.
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