Two Texas state Democrats have verified that they tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number people sickened by the virus to five after fleeing the state to prevent Republicans from adopting a restricted voting legislation last week.
Trey Martinez Fischer and Celia Israel, both fully vaccinated, said on Sunday that they caught the virus nearly a week after being among the roughly 60 Democratic state representatives who flew to Washington, D.C., on two planes last Monday to deny Republicans the quorum needed to pass a controversial restrictive voting bill during a special legislative session.
In a statement late Sunday, Martinez Fischer said his Democratic colleagues knew the personal risk they were taking.
“When my Texas House Democratic colleagues and I broke quorum to stop anti-voter legislations, we knew that tactic would come with real personal sacrifice,” he said. “Those sacrifices are made more real as we grapple with the pandemic that has touched everyone in some way.”
Martinez Fischer said he was notified Sunday morning of his positive test result and was quarantining until he produces a negative reading.
“I am grateful to be only experiencing extremely mild symptoms,” he said.
Israel said her test result came back positive for the virus Saturday.
“I’m doing well and hope to get over the infection quickly with only mild symptoms,” she said. “I am currently quarantining until I test negative.”
Three additional fully vaccinated Democrats tested positive with COVID-19 on Friday night, prompting their declarations. These three individuals were not recognised.
In light of the positive tests over the weekend, the Texas House Democratic Caucus stated on Sunday that it will “go beyond” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and give daily quick testing to all members and employees in Washington, D.C.
“All of the [House Democratic colleagues] who tested positive are feeling good, with no symptoms or only mild symptoms,” it said in a statement. “The HDC will, and ask others to, respect the privacy of Members and their personal health.”
Donna Howard, a Democratic House representative for Texas, tweeted Sunday that they are following COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
“Vaccines work & even protect those who are fully vaccinated but end up testing positive from suffering serious illness,” she said. “Encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”