Rep. Pramila Jayapal
Rep. Pramila Jayapal
File Photo

Washington: Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal on Tuesday (January 12) tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In a statement issued on this day, she accused the Republicans of refusing to wear masks and mocking those who did during a riot at the legislature last week.

In a tweet, Pramila Jayapal, member of the US Congress, said she had taken a test after being trapped in a secure room with fellow lawmakers, and that she had tested positive.

"I just received a positive COVID-19 test result 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," she tweeted from her official handle on the micro-blogging website.

In her statement following her positive diagnosis, Congresswoman Jayapal, who is now self-isolating, said colleagues that refused to wear masks were guilty of "selfish idiocy" and should not be allowed to take their seats in the chamber.

"Many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic -- creating a superspreader event on top of a domestic terrorist attack," the statement read.

Hours earlier, fellow Democratic congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman said she too had contracted the virus and that she believed she had been exposed to it during last week's violence.

"She believes she was exposed during protective isolation in the US Capitol building as a result of insurrectionist riots," her office said in a statement.

Top Congressional doctor Brian Monahan warned lawmakers over the weekend that they could have been exposed to the virus after taking shelter in an isolation room last Wednesday.

Just hours after pro-Trump protestors stormed the US Capitol to demand Congress overturn the November 3 election victory of President-elect Joe Biden, Congressman Jake LaTurner tested positive for the virus.

The US is the world's hardest-hit country and some 375,000 people have died from the coronavirus -- with about 3,000 more dying every day.

(With inputs from AFP)

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