How the public views the 55 fleeing Democrats --- sneaky villains or reluctant heroes --- depends largely on a person’s political views, and so far the trek has gained both fawning media praise and Babylon Bee mockery for their actions. What did not go unnoticed eight days ago, when the Democrats departed Austin, is none were wearing masks in a tightly-packed private passenger jet.
Now six of them have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday, July 19, after spending a week in the hallways and offices of the U.S. Capitol.
On Tuesday, news website Axios reported a breaking story that two non-Texans, a White House official and an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tested positive for the virus after attending a reception for the Texas lawmakers at the exclusive Hotel Eaton.
The staffer for Pelosi also personally escorted the Texas lawmakers around the Capitol, Axios said.
In a statement to Axios, a spokesman for Pelosi’s office confirmed to Axios that the senior aide to the Speaker “tested positive for COVID after contact with members of the Texas legislature last week.”
Over the weekend, it was learned Vice President Kamala Harris visited Walter Reed Hospital, for what was called a “routine” visit, on a Sunday. That hospital visit inevitably raised speculation she, too, had contracted the virus after meeting the delegation July 13, the first full day the lawmakers were in D.C.
After the first two Texas lawmakers tested positive July 18, a spokesperson for the Vice President insisted she had “not been in close contact” with the virus-stricken Texans several days earlier, even though she had sat with them, in a crowded meeting room, and held a roundtable discussion that was later closed to the press, an NBC affiliate reported.
“I know what you have done comes with great sacrifice, both personal and political,” Harris, holding a microphone, told the Texas delegation, “and you are doing this in support and defense of some of our nation's highest ideals.”
Back in Texas, Cathie Adams of Texas Eagle Forum tells American Family News the remaining state lawmakers are addressing “voter integrity” during the special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott.
“We’ve got to stop this mail-in ballots, and drive-through voting,” she warns, “and all the nonsense that were applied last November.”
Regarding the COVID-positive Texas lawmakers in D.C., Adams says the most telling part is they are vaccinated but are still testing positive for the virus.