Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a recent interview that testing for the CCP virus is available for any one of the over 20,000 people working on the Capitol Campus if they should need it.
“But I also am in close touch with the House—the Capitol Attending Physician, for the entire Capitol, and, basically, people who have reason to be tested are given the opportunity to be tested and on Capitol Hill, it’s 20,000 workers. It’s not just 435 Members of Congress,” said Pelosi.
On Sept. 20, Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) was diagnosed with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. She said she would like to see members tested regularly and make it easier for her staff to be tested when they feel it’s needed.
“Contrary to popular belief, [members of congress] do not get tested regularly. In fact, we are not mass tested at all in DC. Masks, social distancing & frequent floor cleanings are the precautions that are taken in the House. I have taken every possible precaution and still contracted coronavirus,” wrote Hayes on Sept. 20.
“But I think even more than Members, I had staffers who had such a hard time getting tested. Some of them had to drive to Virginia or to Maryland, to pay out of pocket, and that just should not happen,” Hayes said in a TV interview last week.
Referring to the difficulty Hayes staff had in getting tested, Pelosi said those in charge of testing will have to do a better job getting the word out that tests are available for anyone on Capitol Hill who think they have been exposed.
“So, that opportunity is there and I’m sorry that her staff people were not aware of that. We have to do the outreach to make sure that they are,” added Pelosi.
“As Speaker, I was not tested because I had no symptoms, I had no exposure. When I had the exposure to the White House people who came over to testify—not to testify, but to negotiate on the bill—then it was decided that out of an abundance of caution that we would have the test, and we had another one today,” said Pelosi.
Pelosi made it clear that everyone working on the Hill including thousands of workers, reporters, and lawmakers will be protected by enacting the scientific guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control including social distancing, wearing masks, and frequent hand washing.
Pelosi suggested that those who have contracted the virus have probably gotten it in other social interactions, and not from the Capitol, as in the case of the members of Senate and House who have contracted the virus.
According to a report by NPR, 18 Senate members have quarantined or tested positive for the virus and 56 members of the House have either self-quarantined or tested positive.
“So, it’s about their family lives, how they are at home and socially interacting. It’s other events that they may participate in. It’s in transportation getting to the Capitol,” said Pelosi.
Hayes said her husband, who is a police officer, also tested positive and she first tested negative, then tested positive.
Pelosi also emphasized that it is not possible or needed, at this point, to test all the workers on Capitol Hill on a regular basis.
“So, this is a tall order for the number of people that we are talking about, and I trust the judgment of science in this as to when and how we should be tested, whether it’s sampling or whether—they’re preparing a report, a scientific report on this.”