WASHINGTON — Three Texas Democrat state legislators who fled Texas to thwart a Republican-backed attempt to impose sweeping new voting restrictions have tested positive for COVID-19 and are being quarantined, according to the Texas House Democratic Caucus director.
According to caucus director Phillip Martin, one legislator tested positive on Friday and the other two on Saturday. According to Martin, all three were properly vaccinated against the illness, but he declined to provide their identities or medical circumstances in order to “respect the privacy of Members and their personal health.”
More than 50 Texas legislators arrived in Washington on Monday after taking a private charter jet from their home state. They were chastised by Republicans and others after a photo surfaced of them boarding the plane without masks, despite the fact that federal pandemic standards do not mandate masks to be worn on private planes.
Rep. Chris Turner, the caucus chairman, said in a statement that the caucus is consulting with Texas health professionals for more information.
According to the Centers for Illness Control and Prevention, COVID-19 infections in individuals who have been completely vaccinated against the disease, often known as “breakthrough” infections, are extremely unusual.
Two of the three lawmakers who tested positive met with Vice President Kamala Harris, according to a statement from Harris spokesman Symone Sanders on Twitter.
Sanders stated, “Based on the chronology of these positive tests, it was judged that the Vice President and her staff present at the meeting were not at danger of exposure because they were not in close contact with individuals who tested positive and so did not need to be tested or quarantined.”
According to Sanders, the Vice President and her staff are completely vaccinated.
Martin said it’s unclear when or where the three Texas legislators became sick.
“We don’t know,” says the narrator. According to Martin, “everyone had to be completely vaccinated in order to board the plane.”
Members of the group also visited with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, although none of the three sick were there, according to Martin, and Schumer’s office has been informed of the positive tests.
According to Turner, the White House was also alerted.
“Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, and his epidemiology team have been contacted by my staff for any additional advice on protocols for people exposed to COVID-19 after immunization,” Phelan wrote.