Schneider lambasted his Republican colleagues, some of whom he said refused to wear masks amid the chaos. He called for those that refuse to comply with health guidance to be sanctioned and removed from the House floor.
“Last Wednesday, after narrowly escaping a violent mob incited by the president of the United States to attack the Capitol and its occupants, I was forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other members of Congress. Several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask, as demonstrated in video from Punchbowl News, even when politely asked by their colleagues,” the Illinois Democrat wrote in a statement.
“Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff.”
Schneider said he hadn’t yet experienced symptoms and was isolating away from his wife. He said he regretted he had to vote by proxy amid a week of “critical work” in the House.
“We can no longer tolerate members coming to the floor or gathering in the halls of Congress without doing the bare minimum to protect those around them. Those that flout public health guidance should be sanctioned and immediately removed from the House floor by the sergeant-at-arms for their reckless endangerment of their colleagues,” he continued.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., another member who announced a positive coronavirus test early Tuesday, said some members and staff were informed by Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of the Congress, that those secured in that particular room had been exposed to “another occupant with coronavirus infection.” She said they had been in the room for “multiple hours.”
She said there were more than 100 people in the room and she believes it was a “superspreader event.”
Hours earlier, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-Wash., who was also at the Capitol, said she’d tested positive.
Lawmakers were forced into hiding during a joint session of Congress on Wednesday as a group of pro-Trump protesters broke through Capitol security and made their way to the House and Senate chambers. Five were left dead in the aftermath and there have been at least 120 arrests.
Democrats in the House on Monday introduced an impeachment resolution against President Trump for inciting an “insurrection,” and calling for his removal from office. Trump spoke to the crowd at the “Save America” rally hours before the breach, vowing he would “never concede” and pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the Electoral College certification and hand it back to the states.
Republicans overwhelmingly condemned the president’s response, but with the exception of a few, did not support impeachment or invoking the 25th Amendment, as President-elect Joe Biden will take over on Jan. 20.