Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman was hospitalized Monday, January 11, 2021, after testing positive for the coronavirus that she said she may have caught during last week’s violent protests by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Watson Coleman and other lawmakers were whisked to a secret location during the violent protests, but some of the Republican lawmakers in the safe room with her eschewed masks, and photographs showed most of the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Wednesday didn’t wear them either.
The Capitol’s attending physician warned of possible COVID-19 risk and urged lawmakers and staff to watch out for symptoms and get tested.
“I received a positive test result for COVID-19, and am home resting at this time,” Watson Coleman, D-12th Dist., said in a statement. “While I am experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, I remain in good spirits and will continue to work on behalf of my constituents.”
She tweeted later that she was “on my way to a local hospital for monoclonal antibody treatment” at the advice of her doctor.
Watson Coleman, 75 and a cancer survivor said she had received the positive result from the antigen test and was waiting for the results from the more accurate PCR test. She said she had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech.
Several other New Jersey lawmakers also were forced into a secure location, but none of them have reported positive tests.
President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., had tried to hand out face coverings to the maskless lawmakers.
“When they were hiding from the mob, she was going around trying to hand out masks to everybody,” Biden told reporters, according to pool reports. “And her Republican colleagues wouldn’t wear a mask. I think it’s irresponsible.”