GOP lawmakers Doug Collins of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida both announced on Monday through their Twitter accounts that they were in contact with an attendee at the Conservative Political Action Conference who has been diagnosed with coronavirus.
Both men state that they are not experiencing any symptoms, but have made the decision to self-quarantine as a precaution.
Since the CPAC conference, both Collins and Gaetz have been in close contact with Donald Trump. Collins has shaken Trump’s hand and was with him while he visited the CDC headquarters in Atlanta last week. Collins also met with Trump on Tuesday at the White House.
On Monday, he stated that he discovered that he did have contact with the infected attendee through a photograph.
“This afternoon, I was notified by CPAC that they discovered a photo of myself and the patient who has tested positive for coronavirus,” Collins tweeted. “While I feel completely healthy and I am not experiencing any symptoms, I have decided to self-quarantine at my home for the remainder of the 14-day period out of an abundance of caution.”
He would then add: “I will follow the recommendations of the House Physician and my office will provide updates as appropriate.”
Matt Gaetz’s office posted to Twitter on Monday announcing that he would be closing his Washington office until he received test results back.
“Congressman Gaetz was informed today that he came into contact with a CPAC attendee 11 days ago who tested positive for COVID-19,” read a tweet from the congressman’s account, adding that “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,” Gaetz’s Twitter account added.
A physician for the U.S. Capitol acknowledged on Monday that the patient had contact with “several members of Congress at CPAC.” Dr. Brian Monahan stated that the individual who has been diagnosed with coronavirus was “able to recall specific names of people he had contact with during the meeting.”
Gaetz was widely criticized last week for wearing a gas mask mocking the mounting coronavirus fears on the House floor.
Earlier this week the White House stated that it had no indication that Trump or Pence was at any time in close proximity to the infected attendee.
Trump continues to downplay the threat of the coronavirus. On Monday he stated that the “common flu” kills thousands of Americans each year.” He then added that “life & the economy go on.”